I am a huge advocate of self-care and always remind my clients to prioritise it - especially when going through a divorce. Despite being incredibly adaptable and resourceful creatures, none of us like change and yet divorce brings plenty of it. The truth is you can’t support your children and make good decisions for your future if you do not take care of yourself.
Here are some of my top tips on how you can take care of yourself, and nourish your mind at the same time, to be your level best.
- Sleep. 7- 8 hours of sleep is optimal for the best mental performance. It improves your memory and your capacity for strategic thinking. Sleep deprivation never makes for good decision making. It also happens to boost your immune system which you will need if feeling stressed.
- Exercise. Again, it pumps blood to the brain improving our intellectual performance, enabling us to process information faster and improve reactions. Chemically it also floods our bodies with feel-good hormones that motivate us. That's why exercising first-thing is a great way to start the day.
- Gratitude. Count your blessings, there is always something to be grateful for. No matter what your situation, there is someone out there who would change places with you but you wouldn’t want to change places with them. The impact of doing this on your mental state is phenomenal, so doing it first thing in the morning will set you up for the day.
- Take a breath Divorce and in some cases co-parenting can be an extremely stressful time as we adjust to all the changes in our lives. When we are stressed and anxious it can feel like we are struggling to breathe, it is the reason many of us experience panic attacks. This is your mind in survival mode, its response is to pump your blood to your arms and legs ready for fight or flight. In doing this, it takes blood away from your brain making it difficult to think clearly. By stopping to take deep breaths you interrupt the response and allow oxygen to flow back to your brain.
- Switch off We are all wedded to technology and especially social media this can be damaging at the best of times but especially now when we are more sensitive. Being constantly connected often causes more stress and anxiety, impacts our sleep and our mental performance. Switch off, take time away from a screen especially in the hour before bed.
- Guard your mind. Our minds are incredibly susceptible to suggestion, it is why hypnotherapy is so effective. Make certain that what you are exposing yourself to is serving you and not feeding your insecurities. This goes for online, as well as in person. Right now, you need to surround yourself with the right type of support.
- Be kind to yourself. Divorce requires adjustment and time as we come to terms with what is happening and move on. These adjustments are honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrating, and beautiful. Your journey is your own, do not judge it by others’ successes. On the other side of this is clarity, strength and resilience but be patient, allow yourself to be human, you will get there in your own time.
- Mindfulness practice. Whatever your preferred flavour - meditation, affirmations, yoga... Making time to step out of your day to centre yourself has a phenomenal effect on your wellbeing. It allows you to focus, is calming and will set intentions for the whole day. Creating a self-care routine will really serve you now and in the future.
- Be in nature. Being in nature releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and dopamine. This chemical release has a calming effect on our emotional state, making you feel relaxed and think clearly. This is a great trick for when you are feeling triggered or overwhelmed.
- Treat yourself. Our minds love to be rewarded, it is what keeps us going, and it motivates us more than anything including fear. Write a treat list of things you can do to reward yourself during this time – big or small. Keep note of what you have achieved in the day and make sure you reward yourself!
If you want to discuss your own self-care and how to get the most out of this time, please contact me to arrange a consultation.