After the divorce proceedings are completed, the formalities feel completed. It may not be completely over, but much of the day-to-day stress has lessened, and you feel like you have finally been given time to devote to yourself. You are finally able to breathe a little easier.
While alimony, and maybe even child support, may still be on your plate, you have time now to decompress and focus on yourself. You can finally seek the relief that you have been seeking and enjoy some “me time.”
Some time to devote for yourself can be beneficial to your health, especially after the stresses of the divorce process. Many avoid dedicating time to themselves, because they feel guilty or that the time would be better spent focusing on others, especially their children.
‘Me time’ and guilt
According to an informal survey of parents and nonparents, published in Psychology Today, 70.6 percent said they never took a “me day” or only did so once every few months.
Among the parents surveyed, 64.6 percent of them said that they would experience guilt if they increased their frequency of “me days.”
Depending on your personality, you may find solitude a better way of spending your “me time,” and that is okay. Solitude can allow you to reboot your brain and unwind. It can increase productivity and improve concentration. It also gives you the opportunity to find your own voice and think deeply about the experiences you’ve just been through. After a divorce, that can be a beneficial way of gaining perspective.
Sociologist Jack Fong, of California State Polytechnic University has shown through his research that when people are experiencing personal turbulence, like during a divorce, their ability to be alone can be beneficial to their social health.
“When people are experiencing crisis, it’s not always just about you,” he said. “It’s about how you are in society. When people take these moments to explore their solitude, not only will they be forced to confront who they are, they just might learn a little bit about how to out-maneuver some of the toxicity that surrounds them in a social setting.”
By devoting time to yourself, you are actively attempting to make yourself a healthier person. This way, when you head out to a public setting, you are better equipped to flourish, because of the time spent dedicated to yourself.
Time for yourself
Many feel that they simply do not have time to dedicate to themselves. Those that have gone through a divorce feel that they have to work to make ends meet for themselves, due to the fact that their financial assets are not what they once were.
If that is the case, then put it on your calendar. Set aside the time for yourself. After all that you have gone through, you deserve to schedule some time to yourself, even if it is just 15 minutes.
Making yourself a priority is important to help rebuild your self-esteem after the divorce process. So much of the divorce experience can devolve into breaking down an individual and reducing their self-worth to what the other spouse can get from them in the separation of assets or figuring out child custody.
Few focus on the importance of seeking time to rebuild yourself after the stress of the situation. According to “Parenting through Divorce” by Lisa Rene Reynolds, taking a few minutes here and there in between parenting situations can be beneficial and give you the momentum necessary to be the parent that your children need during this difficult time in their own lives.
Whether you are sleeping, scrolling through television channels, or engaging in some other sort of hobby, it is important to engage in what you need during this scheduled time.
All of this research highlights the benefits of devoting time to yourself. It is a way of participating in “self-love” or “self-care,” which is a necessary activity after the divorce process. Whether you are allowing yourself the pleasure of a good meal or a carefree movie, you are actively putting yourself first.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.