Taking good care of oneself during and after your divorce is vital in order to move on to the next phase of life — and that’s not always easy, especially for parents. In the months following a divorce, many people are extremely vulnerable and emotionally fragile.
Failing to practice good self-care can have unfortunate repercussions. Below are some ways to heal healthfully from the trauma of divorce.
Be aware of substance abuse issues
Kids need both their parents fully present in their lives to support them after a divorce. If you are numbing your own pain with drugs or drink, you can’t possibly be there for them as they need you to be.
Be gentle with yourself
While it’s wise to own your own shortcomings that may have contributed to your divorce, it is destructive to beat yourself up over things you cannot change. Accept that all of us are flawed in some way or another and choose to learn from your experience.
Stay physically healthy
With or without children, your health should be a priority. When you do have kids, staying healthy is even more necessary because they need you more than ever in their lives. Don’t put off check-ups and preventative health measures. Eat healthy foods and start or maintain an exercise routine.
Seek emotional support
The first few months after a divorce can be brutal, particularly when you did not want the marriage to end. Anniversaries and holidays are tough, too, and the first year is usually the worst. Arrange to be busy during those times, either by delving into activities with the kids or surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family.
Learn to co-parent civilly
For the sake of your children, learn how to interact civilly with your co-parent during custody exchanges or discussions about their needs. Remember, a civil divorce is healthier for them than bearing witness to a toxic marriage.