Self-Care During Divorce

Getting a divorce is one of the most difficult experiences of a person’s life. Even if you and your spouse are doing everything to make your divorce as amicable as possible, divorce is often a traumatizing event.

If you ignore the impact of divorce on your life and try to put on a brave face, this can leave your mental health in a very fragile state. By acknowledging your feelings and setting aside time for yourself, you can begin the healing process.

REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT Everyone needs a listening ear when experiencing the break-up of a marriage. Make an appointment with a good therapist, get a drink with friends, and schedule time to spend with your family. (Don’t mistake your attorney for a therapist or friend).

ALLOW YOURSELF TIME TO GRIEVE There is no timeline for when you’re supposed to be “over” divorce. Give yourself time, and don’t be surprised if the anger, sadness, and pain flow in ways that you don’t expect.

DON’T ABUSE SUBSTANCES It’s very common for people going through divorce to turn to alcohol, smoking, or harder drugs to deal with the pain and stress. Casual sex and overwork can also be abused to cope, so keep an eye on your behavior in these areas.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY “NO,” TO NEW OBLIGATIONS OR REQUESTS WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL UP TO IT. Don’t be worried about letting someone down when you cannot do more than you are already doing.

PUT ON SOME MUSIC THAT YOU LOVE EVEN IF THE MUSIC MAKES YOU CRY. Don’t underestimate the value of a good cry. Spend time listening to music and let it all out.

WORK ON YOUR CO-PARENTING GOALS. If children are at the center of divorce, don’t forget to switch your relationship chip to a co-parenting chip. Take some time to read books, listen to podcasts, or look for a parenting coach to help you with this transition.

SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR PETS AND CHILDREN. Let your kids know how much you love them and make time to do fun things together. If you have pets, include them in your plans as they also are going through the divorce with the family.

Ultimately, self-care is an active choice you must make every day. Remember that seeking out help from a professional is an option. Taking the time to ensure your mental health and well-being during the separation and divorce process may allow you to come out stronger and better for it.

You deserve to be happy today.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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