Taking Care of Yourself During Divorce

by Jill H. Breslau

Separation and divorce are among the most stressful life transitions, and self care becomes crucial if you are going to handle the transition with clear focus and good judgment.

I encourage my divorce clients to take care of themselves.  Not just in the casual, “Okay, take care, bye” sense of it, but seriously.  So when a client says, “I’m in therapy,” or “I signed up for a membership at the gym,” I am delighted.  It is so helpful to have a safe place to talk and vent your feelings, and, of course, we know the importance of exercise, not only in promoting physical health but in generating those invaluable feelings of well-being.

As you might predict, I don’t always take my own advice.  But this year, I am.  I am headed out of town on a yoga retreat, which I hope will give me increased flexibility in all dimensions, mental as well as physical.  I want more creativity, more nimbleness of mind in coming up with potential win-win solutions.  I want more compassion when my clients and their spouses get into stuck places during divorce, and more patience with lawyers who only see divorce as a war, not as an opportunity to solve problems and build a different, but still respectful, relationship.