Article written by Gary Direnfeld
People may want to think of divorce as an event… It actually is more like a process over time.
Even in the best of situations, it can take months to finalize a divorce. Add any degree of consternation, conflict, complexity or hard feelings and that time can extend to years.
Over the course of sorting things through, the issues can be remarkably emotional and distracting. The impact on emotions and those distractions can take a toll on well-being. Along with the toll it can take on oneself, issues of children’s wellbeing, finances and other relationships may be affected.
Self-care is the capacity to engage in those activities that refresh, renew and revive.
Like a battery or bank account, there needs to be a minimal amount of reserve energy or funds as one cannot withdraw from a depleted source.
The key to self-care is to find those escapes that provide you respite from the divorce process. This needn’t be expensive, and it needn’t be big gestures.
It’s in the little moments.
There are those small things you can do daily, if not weekly. Of course, continuing with those larger gestures you can do from time to time.
The small things can be that quiet cup of coffee or tea. Have it a relaxed fashion, stealing the five minutes it takes.
It may also include some meditation time, a more focused effort at relaxation be that through a cognitive process of relaxation or more physically oriented as through yoga or even exercise.
When needing a larger break to decompress, it can mean an evening out or even a weekend of fun and relaxation.
No one can tell you what is right for you. It remains your decision as to what provides for your respite and refreshment.
Those who tend to include self-care in a routine fashion tend to manage the bumps and grinds of the divorce process more effectively than those who do not. Investing in yourself, is an investment towards a better outcome, for you and those affected by you.
Find your way. Include some form of self-care into a plan of managing through the divorce process.
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW.
Gary is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. He is recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead, to over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 600 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.