We speak a lot about the different elements of divorce: relocation, parenting plans, property division, and so on. The process can be challenging, so we want to make sure our clients have the information they need in order to make good decisions for themselves and their loved ones. Once the divorce is final, however, a lot of folks discover that all that stress and anxiety doesn’t just “go away” – and suddenly, it seems there’s no real outlet for it.
Divorce is hard on everyone, which is why it is so, so important that you take care of yourself, too. We know that your first concern might be your kids’ welfare, or paying off the debts, or protecting your business: all of those are legitimate issues that must be addressed. But if you don’t take some time to let yourself grieve, or be angry, or find a way to move forward in your new life, you can end up being dragged down by your old one.
Today, we want to look at some methods and tips for self-care that could help you in the short and long term.
- Seek out a counselor or support group. Working with a professional counselor, or even just meeting with other people who are dealing with the same types of issues you are, can make a world of difference. Someone who is unbiased and also supportive can help you address your fears or worries in a safe environment.
- Avoid isolation. That overwhelming urge to curl up in a ball and eat ice cream? Don’t let it win. Yes, some quiet evenings to yourself where you can mourn the end of your marriage are necessary, but being out among your friends and loved ones is equally important.
- Treat yourself every now and then. We wouldn’t recommend splurging on lavish items that you can’t afford, but we see this a lot: a person feels like he or she will never be financially secure again, so he or she refuses to do anything that costs money. Eventually, that resentment is transferred to your ex, your friends or – even worse – your kids. So, go see the ball game, or visit the spa, or buy the better bottle of wine for dinner that night. Small luxuries, when parceled out, might help diminish some of those feelings of loss.
- Take a risk. Always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, or go SCUBA diving, or try karaoke? Now is the time. Take a friend or a sibling (anyone you trust and love) with you and have an experience you always wanted, but didn’t try because your spouse wasn’t interested, or because you never felt brave before.
- Write your feelings down privately. L’esprit de l’escalier translates to “staircase wit” in French. It’s the term they use when you come up with the perfect reply too late. When those feelings hit, or when you want to rant or rave on Twitter or Facebook or Snapchat, write it all down. Whether you save your journals or rip up the letters, getting your feelings out like this can help ease the burden of carrying the anger around, displacing it safely (and privately) on paper.
Our clients often say they feel selfish when they want to do something for themselves during or after a divorce, but you have to take care of you, if you want to be better prepared to take care of others. At Shepherd & Associates, P.C., we help our clients in and around Maryville get through their divorces by offering competent counsel and an arm to lean on, when they need it. If you are seeking a divorce, have problems with an existing agreement, or need skilled legal counsel about any family law issue, please call our team of Maryville divorce attorneys at 865.225.9655, or fill out our contact form.