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Taking care of yourself

Most people going through a divorce and for a while after are a wreck. It is financially and emotionally exhausting. Kids, jobs, moving, and so many other factors it all adds up to too much or you are barely hanging on. 

I was numb for about 4 months after my wife moved out. I was trying to hold it all together and prove to myself, my kids, and my wife that I would carry on in life, with or without her. It wasn’t until I started my Rebuilders class that I finally was able to really start to take care of myself. 

There a lot of things you can do to get survive each day and make each day a little better. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Sleep as best you can. If you need to get a prescription to help you can try that. Some people use Benadryl to try to relax. However, research shows that going to bed and getting up on a regular schedule works best. Surprising, research shows that waking at the same time every morning is more important to better sleep than what time you go to sleep. Alchohol, and anything sweet before bedtime “wakes up” the brain. So try to limit those as best as possible. 
  2. Eat as best as you can. Yes, sometimes you are just trying to get by. Fast food can be healthy but too much can be hard on your body. Fresh homemade meals are best. However, given that nutrition is often one of the first things to get when someone is under stress, consider getting a multi-vitamin. It can be surprising how much more alert and better I feel, just by taking a multi-vitamin!
  3. Limit alcohol. It is pretty obvious and not uncommon that divorce breeds drinking to excess. We are trying to hide from the intense feelings. During this course, promise yourself that you will deal with the feelings and limit alcohol so that you can be present to them. As Alanis Morrisette sings, “The only way out is through”. 
  4. Meditate. Meditation is one of the most proven tools for calming yourself and dealing with issues. We recommend Headspace. It has a free option. It teaches the basics and is based on research as to the best method. You can do it in only a few minutes. It takes practice but it brings dramatic rewards for some people.
  5. Exercise. Some of you are runners, others are NOT runners. Do what you can though! Go for a walk, do pushups, situps, jumping jacks, stretch, yoga. Anything! Stress hangs out in our bodies and exercise helps pull that out. Do it every day if you can, or every other day, or once a week. Start and do what you can!
  6. Drink more water. Clean our your system, hydrate your brain and body. 
  7. Reach out to friends and family. Try to find people to talk to. Sometimes NOT talking about your situation can feel good. Sometimes you need to vent. Sometimes you may consider suicide (if you do, please call 1 (800) 273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline). Go to your church and find someone to talk to. If you don’t go to church regularly you can still go to almost ANY church and tell them you need to talk to someone. In this course we will be adding a social tool that allows you to connect. You can also go to our Facebook group (Divorce: From Survive to Thrive) and join the discussions in a private, safe group. 
  8. Journal. Writing your thoughts on paper is incredibly helpful. When it is in your head it just keeps revolving around but when you get it on paper it can help crystallize them. It also prevent you from circling around on the same thoughts over and over. 
  9. Read some books on Divorce. My therapist suggested a few books to me. Here they are:
    • Crazy Time, Revised Edition: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life (Also available as an Audible book)
    •  Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends (Also available as a kindle book)
    • Without this Ring: A Woman’s Guide to Successfully Living Through and Beyond Midlife Divorce.
  10. Sit Quietly and reflect. What else is there to say? Sometimes we avoid ourselves and our feelings. For me I have found the most clarity in the middle of the night. The house is quiet and if I pay attention I can easily see my true feelings without my ego or emotion getting in the way.

Promise yourself to do one or more of these things to start your recovery. If you want more help than this consider our soon to be released Essentials Course, sign up here: https://rebuilders.net/course/divorce-recovery-essentials-course/

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