The lead up to a family separation can take years. It is exhausting, distressing and anxiety-inducing. When you finally make the decision to go your separate ways, there is still a long journey ahead to find your new normal and a happy balance where you can really start living again.
For this reason, self-care during your separation is super important.
In this article we explain why.
THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE
A family separation is a long, drawn-out process. For example, you are unable to divorce until a year and a day after the date of your separation. And that year is likely to be filled with high emotions and big practical changes.
A good self-care regime will help you face these changes from a place of calm, instead of a place of exhaustion.
Think of self-care as a slow-release energy which will power you through even the toughest of times.
GET INTO THE RIGHT HABITS
Everything is changing in your life right now. Although it might feel scary, it is the optimal time to slip new healthy regimes into your life.
Even if you weren’t great at self-care before your separation, it doesn’t mean you can’t move it up the priority list as a single parent.
It’s well-known that single parents face a lot of stress. Self-care is the antidote to that stress.
IT’S NOT JUST YOU
We are role models for our children, whether we like it or not.
If they see you taking time out to look after yourself and treating yourself with the respect you deserve, they will grow up doing the same.
And it’s not just your children. It’s everyone around you. According to Perimeter Healthcare:
“Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can transmit the good feelings to others. You cannot give to others what you don’t have yourself. While some may misconstrue self-care as selfish, it’s far from that. Self-care will not only benefit you, but will improve the well-being of those around you.”
Remember that: Self-care is not selfish!
YOU’LL BE BETTER PLACED TO DEAL WITH THE SERIOUS STUFF
This period of your life is going to require some big decision-making and serious negotiations with your ex-partner, not all of them pretty!
Being on top form will give you the confidence to make good choices that will affect your life now, and into the future.
Imagine mediation with your ex-partner the morning after drinking too much alcohol and sleeping fitfully. Now compare this to mediation with your ex-partner after a great night’s sleep, a yoga stretch and a fresh juice.
The mediation outcome could be significantly different in each scenario. Not only that, one will be notably less painful than the other.
Further reading: Ways to remove your emotions from a financial settlement process.
TOP PRIORITY: GOOD HEALTH
Good physical and mental health are important throughout our lives. But it is during stressful times, such as a family separation, that we forget about this importance. Yet, it is during these stressful times that we need it most.
In fact, the benefits of regular self-care can have a huge positive impact on your life. An article from SNHU says:
“Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimise frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.”
BALANCE IS PARAMOUNT
When you first separate and become a single parent, you might feel all consumed by everything that is expected of you. The thought of a yoga class or a morning walk might seem laughable.
Yet, living a balanced life which allows time for self-care will help you gain perspective and a sense of calm. It will let you step back from the chaos and view the bigger picture with clarity.
A unbalanced life is unhealthy and can have negative consequences on your health which will hinder you long-term and make your separation harder to manage.
YOUR OWN RE-DISCOVERY
When you separate, everything around you is changing. And you are changing too. Don’t lose sight of the person you are becoming by not spending time working on yourself.
When all is said and done, your children will be fine and the world will keep spinning.
Use self-care as a form of discovery into the new you. How do you feel? What do you enjoy doing? And what are your dreams?
A solid self-care routine can help you find these answers, which will ultimately improve your quality of life, and the life of your children too.