Taking care of yourself physically is extremely important when you are going through and healing from the divorce process. Divorce is physically, emotionally and financially depleting – even when it’s something you chose and wanted to happen. When you are stressed out, making decisions and coping can be compromised. Caring for yourself physically provides a stronger foundation from which to operate. What does that look like?

Sleeping – Getting enough sleep to feel rested is critical. Everyone hears 8 hours, but some people need 7 and some need 8.5. The key is feeling rested. If you are sleeping 10 hours a night and still craving a nap, then you are getting too much sleep and you should check with your doctor to determine if a sleeping condition (e.g. sleep apnea) or a mental health condition (e.g. depression or anxiety) is impacting your ability to sleep. Nothing goes better when you are tired!

Eating well – Eating well is the next building block to feeling healthy. Though you may crave sweets or want to “take the edge off” with alcohol, using food or alcohol to regularly soothe yourself backfires in the long run. Eating a balanced diet with some occasional treats is what a body needs to run effectively. Providing proper nutrition for your body is what will provide you with the energy you need to deal with all the different tasks on your plate.

Exercising – Exercising looks different for different people; some people like to feel tired after a long run, others prefer the practice of yoga and some people prefer to aim for a lot of movement (e.g. 10,000 steps) without ever calling it exercise. Choose what works for your personality and lifestyle because that is how it will become a regular part of your life. Everyone knows that exercise is important for your physical health, but it’s also important for your emotional health. Exercise is the body’s natural antidepressant because it releases neurotransmitters that help you feel better. People who exercise regularly experience less anxiety and depression than those who do not. 

All of these recommendations take time and energy. Unfortunately, most people feel that time and energy are in short supply during a divorce. However, taking care of yourself in these ways will give you more energy and the capacity to cope in the long run.  Many things during the divorce process will feel out of your control; taking care of yourself is one important step in regaining some control over your life. Listen to the cues your body is giving you (tired, tense, hungry, sluggish, etc.)  and give it what it needs to feel healthy.