During the divorce process, we tend to focus more on court dates, housing changes, and custody arrangements, seemingly losing ourselves to the onslaught of monotonous paperwork and meetings. But once the dust has settled and court hearings are a thing of the past, we tend to realize how raw our emotions still are.
Learning how to love yourself doesn’t come naturally to everyone, though. Sometimes we’ve put so much emotional energy into a partner that we don’t know how to exert that same energy into our own self-care.
Here are 4 tips on how to shower yourself with the love you deserve:
1. Identify Something You Truly Enjoy, Then Do That Thing!
Most people have one or two things that they always wished they had time for. Whether it’s writing, taking a painting class, or even taking a course—do it! Part of the beauty that accompanies having more time on your hands is being able to do the things you never had time to do before. Besides, not much says “I love me” more than indulging in something you’ve always wanted to.
2. Start a Gratitude Journal
Sure, it sounds a tad cheesy, but starting your day writing down the things you are thankful for can do wonders for your mental state throughout the day. And it doesn’t always have to be entries like “I’m thankful for my job or my car.” You can always remind yourself of how many of the little things you have to be grateful for too; i.e., your children getting so excited to see you after work that they spilled their juice, or the fact that you pre-planned your meals this week so you have more time to relax in the evenings.
Regular journaling can have fantastic affects on your overall attitude about yourself, your life, and all that it has to offer you every day.
Nope this isn’t a joke. As a matter of fact, this might be the most important act of self-love you can bestow upon yourself. While it’s true divorce often brings about more free time, it can also bring more stress as you learn to juggle life sans a partner. The reality of shuffling the kids to practice on your own, or remembering whose day it is to pick them up, or just simple tasks (like grocery shopping when your former spouse used to do it) can be overwhelming.
In the midst of the chaos, learn to relax. Accept the fact that sometimes you’ll go to bed with dishes in the sink, laundry will go undone, and take-out food is ok. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up or stress yourself out trying to do it all. You are human! Put your need to rest or play with your children ahead of the things that can be done later, and don’t stress about it!
4. Do Something Physical Every Day
This is perhaps the most difficult item on the list, but VERY important. Part of truly loving yourself is to take care of yourself: emotionally, mentally, and physically. Regular exercise not only has incredible benefits to your physique, but it also is one of the most recommended outlets for depression and anxiety. Just 30 min of physical activity a day can increase serotonin levels—making you happier and less prone to stress, can help you sleep better, improve your skin, and add years to your life. If you aren’t inclined to hit the gym just yet, spend 30 minutes doing some guided yoga, walking the dogs, or jumping around with your kids. You’ll quickly notice positive benefits, and establish an exercise routine you actually look forward to.
Of course these are just some of the ways that you can improve on loving and caring for you. Eating well, meditation, travel, and pampering yourself from time to time are also great ways to show you that you care! In addition to establishing a healthy outlook for yourself, the people around you will benefit from the shift in your mindset too.
Family changes are never easy, but they can be manageable. If you need guidance and direction with your divorce, child custody, or any other potential family law matters, Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC can help. Our experienced Michigan family law attorneys are here to provide case-specific advice to you, and are here to talk whenever you’re ready. Give us a call today at (248) 676-8976!
~Originally posted February 2018~