One of the biggest challenges people experience when beginning the separation and divorce process is maintaining their sense of sanity. Most people experience a wide range of emotions, and get caught up in the details of their own personal life. For most adults, this interferes with their ability to be good parents, to be good employees, to be good friends. What can you do for yourself to survive the period between when one of you decides to separate and when everything has been resolved and settled down for the next phase of your life?
Take good care of yourself. How?
- Take good physical care of yourself. Eat right, go to the gym or walk or run around the block. Sign up for a yoga class or a cycle class, or ride that old bicycle. There are gyms in the area that charge only $10.00 a month for membership. Find whatever kind of exercise gives you some physical relief. Eat well. Don’t forget to eat all three meals a day, and prepare decent meals for yourself and your children. Falling into “pizza night” over and over again doesn’t nourish your body or your soul.
- Take good spiritual care of yourself. If you have a spiritual tradition, don’t hesitate to spend a little extra time focusing on your spiritual values. Meet with your priest, pastor or rabbi. Mt. Alvernia has brothers who are especially understanding of the effect of divorce on Catholics. Consider learning meditation – there is a mediation class offered at the KTC Monastery on Sheafe Road every Monday night at 7:30, open to the public. Mediation is a great technique for getting on top of your own run away mind. Consider getting a massage to help settle yourself down. I can strongly recommend a masseuse, Sarah Bragdon, 914-433-0934, firstname.lastname@example.org. She has developed a specific massage program for people going through divorce.
- Take care of your mental health. Find a good therapist – it doesn’t mean you are crazy, just that you could use some support while going through a stressful time. There are therapists who specialize in working with people who are going through divorce. The mental health professionals in the Collaborative association, Maria Alba Fisch, Allison Bell, Joy Dryer, Micki McWade, Howard Susser, and Patricia Thomas are all especially well versed in the challenges you face, and are ready to help you through this phase of your life. Find someone who you can talk to and who can help you be the best person you can be in this difficult time. Connect with your friends — but don’t spend the whole time talking about your divorce. Friends are a critical ingredient to realizing that your life is not coming to an end, just taking an unexpected turn in the road. But if you spend your whole time talking about your divorce, stress will be increased instead of decreased. So remember why you are friends, and focus your friendship on the future, not the past.
- Take care of your legal needs. Find a good professional who can help you resolve your differences. Read the materials on our website, www.lazarandschwartz.com to learn more about your choices. Consider divorce mediation or Collaborative divorce to stay out of the Court system, and resolve issues in a way that is consistent with your own values. Check out mediation at www.mhmediation.com and collaborative divorce at www.collabdivorce-ny.com.
- Be smart. It is easy to fall into bad habits when emotions run high – some people drink too much or party too hard; some people act impulsively, and then make bad choices that make their situation even worse. You are smarter than that — use good judgment, pace yourself, and realize that this is one phase of your life that will be in the rear view mirror before long.
For more ideas on how to take good care of yourself, come meet with one of the lawyers in our office. We can help you figure out what would be best in your particular situation. Give us a call and set up a consultation with Kathryn, Brett or Melissa at 845-896-9651.