Making time for yourself is difficult at any time but when you’re going through traumatic times in your life, it is even harder. However, self care is vital to deal with emotional upheaval. If you are a parent, you also need to be physically and emotionally able to look after your children.
Lack of self care
You may find that you are not making time for yourself in many areas. You may not be eating, sleeping or exercising. These are the basics but you are probably also missing out on time with friends, perhaps because they are all couples. You may be unsure of your future finances and so are refraining from spending money.
Tips for small changes
The following are simple ideas. You will know them already. Hopefully they will serve as reminders!
- Try to eat at least 3 meals a day, preferably including 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. You may find larger meals difficult to manage. If you do, eat more smaller amounts. Healthy eating will give your body the fuel it needs to get through the day.
- Adults need 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day. Try to switch off from work and electronic devices at least an hour before you plan to sleep. Read a book, listen to music or have a bath to relax. You may wake in the night but don’t reach for your phone (yes, I do this!). If you really can’t sleep, get up and make a hot drink before you try to drift back off.
- If you are not used to exercise, go for a walk, preferably somewhere away from a busy town or roads. Try 30 minutes 5 times a week will make a huge difference.
- If you enjoy any sort of exercise or sport, make time for it. This can be difficult with children but ask friends or family to look after them for an hour or couple of hours while you go. I’m sure they won’t mind. I know how hard this is. Asking for help is tricky but they will be glad to help and probably don’t know how.
- If you drink alcohol, try to have at least a couple of dry days every week. You may think that a nice glass of wine after work helps you to relax but actually it will probably not help with your emotional rollercoaster.
- Make time for your friends. Go for a coffee, a walk or even a run. Host drinks at your house. You will definitely need your friends as you go through divorce. You may find that some of the friends who were friends with you as a couple disappear and others become better friends. Don’t be angry about the ones that disappear. You are starting a new chapter and can spend time with those who value you.
If you have the time and money
Treat yourself! One lady I know is booking a spa day every other month this year. Go out for lunch, afternoon tea or just coffee and cake. Take a trip or a weekend away if you have a weekend when the children are with your ex. Book to see a favourite band, play or comedian. Whatever it is, give yourself something to look forward to.
If you have enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy Weekends Away From The Children.
Tamsin Caine is a Chartered Financial Planner at Smart Divorce. She specialises in working with separating or divorcing clients to help them to understand how to divide their finances to move forward with their lives. If you would like to speak to Tamsin or find out more about how she can help, email her at Tamsin@smartdivorce.co.uk or call her on 07975 922766.