Divorce can be draining spiritually, mentally and physically. This is especially true if you and your spouse are in high conflict with one another. You have a responsibility to continue to fulfill your obligations during a divorce as it relates to performing work activities and caring for your family.
However, you also have a responsibility to care for yourself. Failing in this obligation can prevent you from adequately fulfilling the others. Here are some ideas of how you can sustain yourself spiritually, mentally and physically during this difficult period in your life.
Prayer and meditation are good practices to nourish your spirit. You can perform these with a group, such as a faith community or meditation class, and/or by yourself. Meditation is a very disciplined spiritual practice that can also have positive effects on your emotional, physical and mental state.
A prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi says that it is in giving of yourself that you receive. Therefore, you may involve yourself in volunteering, engage in random acts of kindness or donate needed items to a charity.
While you may help yourself by helping others, be careful that you do not give too much by overextending yourself. Give yourself permission to say “no” to other people’s requests when they ask more than you can handle.
You may experience negative thoughts about yourself during the divorce, especially if you are receiving negativity from your spouse. Examine these thoughts carefully and look for evidence to refute them. Avoid toxic people and situations and focus on the positive.
If your body is in a state of good health, it helps give you the strength to cope with the spiritual, mental and emotional challenges that you face during your divorce. Try to devote at least 20 minutes a day to an exercise that you enjoy, such as jogging or yoga. If possible, do this outside in nature. Relieve muscle tension by soaking in a hot bath and/or performing stretches.
It can be reassuring to start a new daily routine. As you are scheduling your days, reserve some time specifically for self-care measures such as these.