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Self-care during divorce

It’s important to take care of yourself throughout the divorce process, especially if family members rely on you. Emotions associated with divorce are varied and complex. At different times you can expect to feel sad, lonely, bewildered, worried, angry, bitter, and frustrated.  
Staying healthy and processing emotions during a divorce is largely a matter of self-care. Here are some self-care tips to consider: 
  • Consider taking up activities that will give you a glimpse of what’s ahead: dusting off an old hobby, picking up a new one, joining a club, or taking day trips. 
  • Practice self-compassion: Give yourself time and permission to not try to do everything perfectly. 
  • As you learn how to function in this new stage, take care of yourself and focus on what you need to do to get through a process. 
  • Surround yourself with supportive family and friends, people who love you and will boost your overall well-being. 
  • Practice mindfulness. The divorce process can seem like a never-ending roller coaster of emotions. To help maintain a sense of calm and centeredness in the storm, consider mindfulness exercises. These techniques can be as simple as observing your breathing, or as advanced as committing to a daily meditation practice. 
  • Lean into healthy habits like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and focusing on nutritious foods to keep your body and mind functioning well. 
  • Know yourself and be realistic about how you react to stress: Do you run away? Seek advice from friends? Charge head on? Avoid negative coping mechanisms. The most important thing you can do for yourself during your divorce is to be clear-headed and fully informed in making all necessary decisions. 
  • Instead of judging yourself for past emotions, focus instead on building a new, constructive relationship with your ex-spouse. That can be particularly important if you have children to co-parent, but even if you don’t, you may need to continue to tie up loose ends together, so civility is key. Communication is as important as ever in this critical stage. 
  • Don’t hesitate to seek out the emotional support you need. Many people lose their best friend as well as their spouse during divorce. Whether it’s a therapist or some other trusted individual, it's important to have someone you can talk to about your feelings and support you through the process. Even confiding in a trusted friend or family member can help you find connection, sympathy, and understanding. 

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Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.