Divorce is one of the most stressful and traumatizing life events we can experience. In fact, some studies show it is second only to the death of a love one in terms of traumatizing life events. Don’t be fooled by the term “amicable divorce,”either – just because your divorce is a so-called amicable one, does not mean you will not experience complex and challenging feeling of loss, failure, and, yes, stress.
When you experience a highly-stressful life event, it is more important than ever to practice self-care strategies. There is an apt saying that self-care is not selfish – you can not pour from an empty vessel.
Here are some of Alison’s favorite self-care strategies:
- Sleep! Sleep is so important in terms of self care. Stress and not getting enough sleep both contribute to irritability, mental and physical health problems, and cognitive impairment. Get enough sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene – try to sleep and wake around the same time every day; avoid alcohol and screens right before bed, and keep your sleep environment cool and dark.
- Yoga: Alison has been an avid yoga practitioner for over 20 years and a yoga teacher for 5 years. Yoga has been proven time and time again to help combat stress. Any movement you enjoy helps with stress but yoga in particular decreases your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you are involved in divorce litigation, your cortisol levels are probably at an all-time high. Alison teaches a community yin yoga class at Alabama Contemporary Art Center, which is suited for beginners and all levels. Class is every Tuesday, 530pm, and is $10 for non-members.
- Journaling: Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out when you are experiencing a wave of challenging emotions. The physical act of writing things down has also been shown to have a tremendous beneficial impact on decreasing stress and increasing your cognitive function. When you are going through a divorce, you want your cognitive function to be at its best so you can can face the difficult decisions you have ahead.
Do you think you might need a deeper dive into stress management? Check out Alison’s online course, Managing Stress Through Yoga: https://vinyasa-lawyer.thinkific.com/courses/managing-stress-through-yoga