5 Ways to Improve Your Self-Care During a Divorce

A man sits in the grass after walking his dog.

Divorce and legal separation are some of the most complex and stressful experiences experienced in life. They change a person's life completely, and handling the legal and financial matters while also bearing the emotional stress of ending a long-term relationship is a lot for a person to take on. In the midst of all these changes, it's all too easy to let certain things slide, such as taking care of oneself.

To say that you'll be making a lot of tough decisions during a divorce is an understatement. You'll be confronted with questions that will not only affect your future but will also deeply affect the futures of any children you and your former partner have together. 

In order for you to focus on those decisions fully, self-care must remain a priority. Working to improve your self-care during your divorce will help you to be more focused and better prepared to meet the challenges you'll encounter during this difficult time. Here are five easy ways to improve your self-care during a divorce.

Think about your environment

The space in which you call home has a huge influence on your emotions. A setting full of negative reminders of bad memories is only going to keep you thinking back on those times and make it harder to move forward.

Thus, for many, the first steps to improve self-care begin with improving their space. This doesn't mean you have to throw out all of your old furniture and spend loads of money on new things. Simply moving around furniture to create a new layout in your home can be a huge help in making it feel like a new space.

Even the basic act of giving your home a deep clean can work wonders. 

The best part of improving your space is that the project can be as small or large as you need it to be. From decluttering a single closet to refurbishing an entire bedroom set, household projects can help you once again see your home as a place of rejuvenation. 

Get some exercise

Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, one of which being a positive boost in one's mood. Try to schedule daily stretches and about 30 minutes of physical activity every day. That might sound like a lot to add to your already busy schedule, but even doing household tasks like vacuuming or walking the dog can count towards your exercise.

Playing with your kids is another great way to get some physical activity into your day, and your children will surely enjoy running around the yard or a local park with you.

Make time for things you love

During your divorce, a good chunk of your time will be taken up by the divorce process itself. Even if you're just at home thinking about your divorce, it's taking up your time and energy.

But a big part of self-care during divorce is making sure you schedule time for not thinking about it at all. And there's nothing that distracts us quite as well as the activities and hobbies we love the most. So in those scant moments when you aren't bogged down with this or that responsibility, take advantage and do something purely for yourself.

It doesn't have to be fancy or new. Even spending half an hour tackling that backlog of podcasts that have piled up can be reinvigorating. The only requirement for this time is just that it has to be 100% about you. 

Spend time with loved ones

Just like how self-care involves doing what you love, it's also about being around those who make you feel your best.

Connect with your best friends and closest family members for support during your divorce. Talk to them about how you're feeling, and lean on them when you need to. During tough times, it's those whom we love most that really come through for us.

If you're too busy or stressed and cannot cook dinner one night, talk to one of your confidants. They may come through with a homemade meal for you and your kids, or instead, you could all go out and grab a bite. Being around those who bring you up will help to lighten your mood when you need it most.

Don't be afraid to talk to a pro

While doing all of these things can really help to improve your self-care during a divorce, sometimes it's best to seek guidance from a professional. Mental health professionals such as counsellors and therapists are trained to help people going through difficult life transitions. They can provide expert information and useful advice to you when you really need it. Don't hesitate to get the help you deserve to get yourself back to the best you can be.

Making it a point to maintain or improve your self-care during a divorce can make a huge difference in helping you to move forward in a healthy way. When you're able to take care of yourself, your physical and mental health will improve, your decision making will be more sound, and you'll be better able to take care of your children.