Hopefully seeing the title doesn’t push you away from reading this. Self-care is SO important to the co-parenting relationship that it’s worth a series, not just an article. I’ll start with an article, though.
When you separate from a committed relationship, that’s hard enough. You’ll find article after article filled with tips to get you through the emotional trauma that comes from divorce and separation. Those articles are right. You do need to take care of yourself as you heal.
Unfortunately, that’s where those articles stop. Co-parents, this is such an important opportunity for you to not only heal, but to prevent the negative from sinking in. Making sure you take care of yourself helps to keep your energy up, your emotions in check, and your mind optimistic. Let’s unpack that a bit.
Spending time taking care of you can mean a lot of different things. Eating well, being active, and having a meditative or spiritual practice are all proven to be effective in fighting disease. When you take care of your mind and body, your mind and body takes care of you. When do you need your mind and body in it’s best shape? During the hardest times in life. You already know that divorce and co-parenting are some of the hardest times you will ever go through. What can you do, today, to treat your mind and body well?
I have the privilege of working with people who struggle with depression and anxiety. I have struggled with depression myself over the years. Many of us have. Look up ways to manage depression and anxiety. You’ll see activity and eating well at the top of the list. You’ll also find exercises to manage your thinking. Some of those exercises include gratitude journals or simply recognizing small moments that brought you joy each day. Starting a practice like this can keep your emotions in check when you’re faced with difficulties.
The key to happiness is being content with what you have instead of waiting for something to bring you happiness. I don’t care where you are in life right now, there are areas in your life that you can be happy about - right now. In the midst of court hearings, GAL appointments, constant threats for custody, and negative communication with your co-parent it can be really hard to find those areas to be happy about. In fact, you may spend time strategizing and working to prevent all of what I mentioned above rather than focusing on areas to be happy, but I promise you that taking 2 minutes out of everyday to be thankful for what you DO have will change your mindset.
It’s much harder for someone to bring you down to their level if you have a practice in place to keep you at a higher level. How are you taking care of you? If you’re missing a part of the practice, what will you put in place today to change that?
This is one of the topics discussed in the co-parenting course. You cannot pour from an empty cup. That means if you're not taking care of yourself, you won't have the energy you need to combat the negative, build on the positive, or even be present when your kids are there. Learn more in the course by clicking on the button below.