Let’s be real — divorce is TOUGH, and so is figuring out your and your family’s new life in the weeks and months that follow finalizing your split. And, there’s a case to be made for it being even tougher for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. Not only are you handling the sea change of divorce, your child custody arrangement may be impacted by the patchwork quilt of surrogacy and adoption laws. Your financial arrangements may have been influenced by the number of years you were married in the eyes of the law, which might be far less than your true marriage. Add these to the everyday stresses of the current news cycle, and you’ve got a perfect storm of stress with which to cope.
The good news is that as marriage and divorce have evolved, so has our awareness of the need to take care of ourselves, to acknowledge when we’re having a difficult period of our lives and to prioritize our needs. Let’s touch on just a few of the plethora of self-care options out there. I’ve pulled together a list of some of my favorites, so that you can emerge from your split, “so fresh and so clean, clean.” (Yes, music therapy is good for your health and so is Outkast. Go ahead and open the YouTube app to listen while you read, you know you want to. JAM OUT!) You deserve it! I love music so much I decided to start putting together a new divorced/break-up theme playlist every month. I will be sharing them on Sodoma Law’s Divorce Concierge page starting this month!
Here are a few things you need to know about self-care post-divorce:
Set your Personal Non-Negotiables — Non-negotiables are things you absolutely will not negotiate on. They align with your values and principles and are things that you put into practice because they serve YOU. Here are a few examples:
- Routine, routine, routine! Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Have a cup of coffee or tea and write down three things you are grateful for. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest as part of your routine, you can try lavender essential oil pillow spray or melatonin for a natural sleep remedy.
- Exercise every day. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sign up for a gym membership. Even something simple as walking for just 10-15 minutes a day is shown to have positive impacts.
- Eat and Commune. Perhaps now more than ever, the people you surround yourself with are of the utmost importance. Take time every week to have a sit-down dinner and connect with family and friends.
- Analog Sunday. Never heard of it? The point is to kick it back to 1999 and turn off your electronics for the day! That means no email, no cell phone and no social media.
Do Something NEW!! (or new-ish) — Now, I’m not saying you have to go with an “extreme sport” like sky diving, but there are tons of “outside the box” things you can try for the first time, or try again as an adult, that can help boost you out of your post-split rut.
- Float away your feelings and try this new trend — float pool therapy! I was a little anxious at first, but I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone, and once I was in the pod, I found it to be SUPER relaxing. There are a few locations in Charlotte where you can try this out, I visited True REST Float Spa in Plaza Midwood.
- Life’s a drag, but brunch doesn’t have to be. Well, unless you’re going to a Drag Brunch that is! If you’ve never been to Buff Faye’s drag brunches in Charlotte you are absolutely missing out on a good time.
- Try a new dinner cuisine: Ethiopian, Southern, Sushi, Indian (I dare you to order spice level six!). Or maybe just a new experience in dining, if you’re a foodie. Charlotte is full of restaurants new and old just waiting to be tried!
- Get into nature: hiking, rock climbing or rafting at the White-Water Center are all great ways to get out of your own head and reconnect with Mother Nature.
Get the Heck out of Dodge — When you have come through a s*#t storm, sometimes it just feels good to get away. I suggest that you set aside some time and take a trip as far away as your budget will allow! That may be a day trip to the beach or mountains, or maybe you fly by the seat of your pants and let this incredible local biz called WhiskedAway plan everything for you.
Create (or rediscover) the NEW YOU! Yes, you are the same person you have always been, BUT you have made it through some pretty tough life changes, and that changes people. This could be a great time to reevaluate the way you have always done life. Maybe it’s time to examine some of the BS-rules that you have set up for yourself in the past. Are they working for you still? Challenge the old ways of doing things and set things up in your life that work for YOU now. Sometimes in life we realize that we have been living selflessly and not taking care of ourselves. It’s time to recreate Self LOVE! Go for a manicure, pedicure or both! Has it been a while since you had a great massage? Do that! Have you always wanted to have a facial or smooth out some of those fine lines? Go to Capizzi, M.D. and mention that the Sodoma Law Divorce Concierge sent you. Another way to celebrate the NEW YOU and reflect on how strong and resilient you are, would be to have an empowered portrait session with one of Charlotte’s many amazing local photographers like Cass Bradley, Julia Fay or Michelle Flowers. Cass Bradley just shot my photos last month, and it was incredible. These sessions are more than pictures — they are meant to capture the pure essence of your soul.
As someone who knows firsthand the overwhelming feelings that can come during the big life changes that divorce brings — trust me when I say, don’t just lock yourself in your house and wait for the storm to pass. Get out there and experience life! And for God’s sake don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with people that are positive and support you and encourage you to be your best. Don’t make me remind you of the somewhat overused definition of insanity— “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Leave the things that are in the PAST… IN THE PAST. Move on, create your New, Bold Beautiful LIFE! Cheers!
Lynn M. Myrick, a Certified Professional Coach with a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, recently joined Sodoma Law’s divorce team as the firm’s first-ever divorce concierge. Myrick helps clients to manage not only detailed logistics and access to trusted resources, but also their emotional landscape, enabling them to discover how they each can best navigate the creation of the next stage of their and their families’ lives.