Anyone undergoing a divorce or a breakup experiences one of the most psychologically, emotionally, and physically demanding challenges of their existence. Just calling it an “emotional roller coaster” doesn’t offer weight to the gravitas of a situation such as this. Breakups and divorces are a period of grief, no matter who is instigating it. This is why self-care is one of those things that, in the modern world, can easily seem like a very wishy-washy remedy because it offers very little substance on the surface. However, self-care is paramount to anybody navigating any type of storm.
Self-care is an umbrella of different tactics and tools that we should be able to dip into when we experience something, and having the right options during tough times allows us to weather these storms, not purely to avoid the negative consequences, as this is unavoidable. In fact, self-care should be about instigating the grieving process and going through everything healthy to ensure that, no matter how tough the process is, there is every chance of emerging out the other side and healing.
The Importance of Connection
No woman is an island, but we can easily feel like it when we’re going through this. There is the potential to be on our own, no matter how many people we surround ourselves with. This is why connection is not just about being in proximity to someone else but about recognizing that we need advice, someone to listen to us, or comfort.
When we feel like we have nobody to turn to, we sometimes just need somebody to tell us that everything is going to be okay. This could mean having a divorce mediation lawyer in our corner who recognizes that getting a mutually beneficial solution is going to minimize fallout, which is particularly important when there are children in the equation.
A strong sense of connection allows us to share our feelings, and this means a problem shared is a problem halved. But we can’t just seek out the support of any random individual; sometimes, we need someone to say the things that are music to our ears. Because, as part of the grieving process, we need that opportunity to get rid of all the bile and anguish that the situation throws up now or has thrown up over a number of months or years.
We can easily feel that we shouldn’t get angry because it’s not “productive,” but we need those outlets, which is why connection is so important. The benefits of being sociable are many, and this is doubly true when you are feeling like you are on your own.
Having Healthy Boundaries
The healing process is not predetermined, and in fact, it is something that we can’t put a time limit on. We all need space to heal, and therefore, we have to define what is necessary for us to heal. We can all believe that physical space is one key component, but sometimes we need to define what interactions are necessary, especially with an ex-partner. We’ve got to understand the triggers, and these could be specific situations that we may need to avoid in the short term.
Establishing clear boundaries with an ex-partner and also with other essential people in your life can help you start that journey of processing what has happened. Sometimes we don’t feel like we’re ready to surface, and rather than feeling like we should step outside or someone has been asking us for so long to come out and have a drink, if we’re not ready, we are just not ready, and that’s okay.
We need to start that healing process as soon as possible, and this means knowing what our boundaries are and, more importantly, being strict with them. During the first few months after anything life-altering, whether it’s divorce or death, you need to prioritize yourself. We can all feel that there is a benefit to being useful to others, and we can certainly be like this throughout our entire lives, but this is a situation that is all about you, and therefore you need to not just recognize the gravity of the situation, but also understand that you are the most important person within this equation, and therefore those boundaries become more than a way to self-preservation, but will give you that physical and emotional space to start stepping in the right direction.
The Importance of Gratitude
We’re not always glass-half-full people, and this is particularly true when we are experiencing tough times in life. It’s easier for us to think that life is working hard, making things more difficult for us to the point that we should just cave in and give up. When we practice something like gratitude, it works wonders; it’s shifting our focus.
We can always look at what has been lost rather than what remains. So many people talk about practicing gratitude because it’s a way to see the good things in life, but in fact, there are more benefits to it than that. In terms of our health, it can reduce our anxiety, relieve stress, reduce pressure, and improve sleep, and these are all things that are severely lacking when we’re undergoing tough times in life.
So many people look at meditation and mindfulness as a way to calm themselves down during tough times; however, meditation is a practice that can be very difficult to achieve when you’re experiencing so many different waves of anxiety. Divorce is one of those things that’s not just about the emotional fallout but the logistical and practical problems as well. Therefore, something like gratitude, as small as this practice can be, will help us to pivot our perspective, and this will, over time, help us to see the good in things. There is always a benefit to something; you just need to dig through sometimes.
Set Future Goals
When we learn about something like mindfulness, it preaches the importance of not looking into the past or worrying about the future but just being in the present. One of the things that we should absolutely do during a breakup or divorce is to actually look beyond what is happening right now.
This works to preserve our sanity to an extent because if we’re feeling weighed down by so many things that are happening right now, looking at what the future can bring is a momentary escape. Setting goals for our future, whether it’s personal achievements, travel plans, or career aspirations, can instill a sense of direction and purpose. When we’re experiencing these tough times in life, we can feel like there is absolutely no reason to exist, and it’s those dark moments that we can easily become consumed by.
If we start to look at the future properly and use this opportunity to start building the steps towards a whole new life, we can start to see the benefits of the situation. A divorce or a breakup can shake us to our very foundations when we don’t anticipate it coming, but life seldom takes us in the direction that we want. We live in a world where, arguably, we crave comfort, and it’s easy to see why because there is so much negativity around that we need something that will make us feel safe and secure for such a short period of time. But despite the cliche that challenges are opportunities, when we experience something like a divorce or a breakup, it is the perfect opportunity to start setting goals that will empower us.
Channel Your Energy into Growing
In a relationship, we compromise, and this is one of the fundamentals of ensuring that a relationship stays strong. If there are parts of your life that you set aside for the sake of the relationship, now is the perfect time to start channeling these energies and frustrations into personal growth.
Taking up a new hobby during the divorce process may seem like one step too far for many; however, this is the ideal time for us to start feeling around for a whole new way of exploring who we are. Hobbies can easily be set aside when life is too busy; however, there are so many benefits to having hobbies in our lives that we should actively prioritize these things.
A hobby is the perfect opportunity for self-indulgence, and in a relationship when we’ve given everything we can, a hobby is the perfect time for you to reclaim something that is yours and yours alone. This is something that every relationship should have anyway, but there are many couples who live in each other’s pockets, and when those relationships crumble, both sides of the equation can instantly feel lost. But the solution here is to start being completely self-absorbed and channeling any anger, frustration, or grief into the opportunity to grow a whole new you.
We all struggle with the big challenges in life, but it’s always the initial shock that reverberates. The grieving process starts with that shock, but it goes through a number of different stages that result in a moment of acceptance. Self-care is one of those things that we should all prioritize in our lives because it helps us to navigate these challenges more effectively, but it also gives us a greater sense of meaning. When we start to incorporate the self-indulgence of self-care, it lays the foundation for a far happier and healthier version of you and a rosy future, no matter what is on the horizon.