Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences of your life. The emotional turmoil over a prolonged time period can trigger a range of feelings from anger to despair and independence to insecurity. Self-care becomes critical. We understand that stress elevates cortisol levels in our body which can be of benefit if we are fleeing from a life-threatening situation. But when stress is at consistently high levels, we need to give our nervous system regular breaks. High levels of stress can interfere with our ability to function in our everyday lives. Take the time to be kind to yourself. Finding ways that work for you to simply breathe can avoid serious health consequences caused by chronic stress. At the very least, it compromises our ability to live our lives fully as we deserve. This is why it is important to first recognize divorce is a chronically stressful situation, and then second, do something for yourself by taking time for you. You deserve it.
Here are some self-care strategies that may be helpful. Adopting these sooner than later could be lifesaving in many ways.
1. Spend time in nature. Going for a walk outdoors provides many benefits like fresh air in your lungs, reduced blood pressure and cortisol levels. Being in the presence of nature can provide an immediate calming effect. If this is not possible, perhaps take a drive or get to a favourite spot surrounded by nature and enjoy the quiet, stillness and perfection. Breathe.
2. Take time to meditate every day. Meditation is proven to re-wire your brain through positive thought, reduce anxiety, provide self-awareness, and even improve sleep and focus.
3. Eat nutritious foods loaded with vitamins and minerals. Stay away from processed foods and only eat “real” food. Reduce or avoid sugar intake and foods high in saturated fats.
4. Move. Any kind of movement every day is necessary to release stress from being stored in our bodies where it can cause havoc on our nervous system.
5. Get adequate sleep. Research shows we need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Your brain, nervous system and cells need this time to rest, restore, and regenerate.
Letting go of what you can’t control and taking charge of what you can sends messages to your brain, nervous system, and all your cells that you are a priority. It's easy to lose yourself in the divorce process. Be sure to do things for you every day. Self-care is up to you and within your control.