The Divorced Woman's Guide: How To Focus on Your Health and Wellness

Uncategorized Aug 18, 2020

I know every single one of you have heard a flight attendant say “put your oxygen mask on first before you put one on your child.”  Or perhaps the old saying “you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.”  Either way, these are TRUE statements meant to reinforce WHY you get to take care of yourself first.  #TRUTHBOMB - the reason being is that if you don’t, you are truly no good to anyone else. 

And I know I know . . . COVID, divorce, life, kids, job, money, family, school etc.  You are not alone in feeling like you are barely keeping your head above water and self-care or as I like to call it, self-investment, feels like a luxuryvs. a necessity. Right now, sleep is all you can manage and even that isn’t going so well.

Throughout your divorce process, no matter where you are at, everything about life and those who depend on you (aka your kids) feel really urgent.  Your mediation is coming up, you have documents to compile, your lawyer calls a lot, money is an issue, deadlines at work, kids are coming back from their dad’s, your ex is driving you nuts . . . sound familiar?  And on top of it all, our emotions are all over the place – sad, happy, angry, depressed, worried, afraid.  And they fluctuate moment-to-moment, day-to-day.  I feel you, I do.

A manicure or a massage sounds amazing right about now, doesn’t it?  And then when we think about all we have to do, the reality of making the time for it seems impossible.  And might even add to your stress thinking about how you would fit that in. So why think about it at all?  So instead you choose to suffer in your own silence, listen to the negative voices in your head and dream of the day you will have the time. 

So let me ask you a question . . . when did you start to give up on yourself or believe you and your health and wellness are optional?  Or even second, third, fourth, etc.?

#TRUTHBOMB

Taking care of YOU is not really an option . . . or one you put on the back burner.  Because as you are doing this, you are increasing your stress with no break or end in sight, which is only compounding your anxiety.  Aka it is a recipe for a crash and burn landing – if you even make it that far.  And it doesn’t just impact your mental health – it impacts your physical and emotional health as well.  Mind, body and soul are all connected.  If you do not take the time to slow down, recharge and rejuvenate guess what is going to happen?  Your body will force you to in a BIG way that will knock you down longer than if you had taken the time for yourself previously.  And it will be at the most inconvenient time and sadly, more painful way. 

I was there - trust me. That used to be me and in fact, I tell my coach daily that I am constantly struggling with and work on self-investment.  It takes a lot of practice and mindfulness – something we are all capable of learning and doing. 

So let me share with you some of what I have had to learn and it breaks things down into baby steps because I believe those are more manageable and produce results.

  1. Budget time in your day for self-investment. Think about starting small as in 15-minute increments and build up over the course of the month to one hour.  Use your calendar and mark the time as “busy” and commit to it. 
  2. Have compassion for yourself and don’t go ALL in. Go 25% in. Why?  Because all or nothing sets you up to fail.  So perhaps think about sitting down with a book and reading one chapter or listening to one podcast for 15-minutes (I happen to have one, The Divorced Woman’s Guide).
  3. Take 15-minutes to refocus. Think about a day you had fun . . . how it made you feel inside and out.  Your mind does not know the difference between reality and thought, so just reliving it gives you a chance to energize yourself
  4. Say “no” to someone– start with this week and then build up to once per day. Being a people pleaser only puts their mask on first!
  5. Breathe and meditate. If you just said, “that is not my thing” I believe it is because you haven’t tried or think it has to be done a certain way for it to work.  Let me tell you that it is really simple.  You can either download a meditation app, which has 5-minute meditations and breathing exercises, OR you can breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts and then release for 4 counts.  Do that 4 times.  And when you do the math that takes less than ONE minute to do.  I think you can make time for that!  Don’t you?  Invite your kids to do it with you – they will reap the benefits too! 

The truth is divorce is hard and it is stressful for everyone regardless of your situation.  And guess what . . . so is life!  The tools I just handed you above will help you to start investing in YOU so you can take care of those in your life that much more efficiently and lovingly. 

You will notice immediately how much better you feel and see life after divorce as a gift – the gift of self-investment.

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