When you’re in a state of upheaval (and what divorce isn’t an emotional rollercoaster?) you’re in such turmoil that, typically, self-care gets jettisoned. Worries about logistics, finances, the kids, the future, consume your thoughts and eat up your time and energy. But it’s the actions you take on your own behalf in the present that will help you not only survive divorce, but also thrive as an individual.
There is no easier (temporary) fix for relief from emotional stress than curling up with a bottle of wine or a pizza or a carton of ice cream. Reasonably priced, easily available and dependably comforting. And sleep brings such sweet oblivion. You may not even feel up to your usual standards of grooming. It’s so easy to focus your attention on all the important stuff. But, guess what. You’re the engine that drives this train and without physical health and stamina, you won’t be able to leave the station, let alone make it through the long haul.
Your physical well-being is the keystone to having enough strength and energy to deal with your emotions, sort out your finances, find your spiritual center and revitalize your social life. So start there. Start small but start. A walk around the block. A mix tape of dance music. Jump rope. Yoga. Anything that gets your body in motion, can also help you think more clearly and feel less tense. For inspiration, see the movie or read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. She hiked the Pacific Crest Trail ten seconds at a time. Or check out Jorge Cruise’s Eight Minutes in the Morning for an easily adaptable daily routine.
Make the commitment to take care of your body. Start now. Start small. Stay steady. It’s relatively painless to up the ante incrementally: another minute or two every day this week, then another minute or two every day the following week, etc. It’s an investment that will pay off by giving you the fortitude to reclaim the other aspects of your life as you transition through divorce.
© 2015 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation