Taking care of you is always important and when a relationship breaks down the importance of self-care takes on an even greater priority.
With the festive season approaching, the pressure and expectations associated with the time of year often sees relationship breakdowns and families thrown into turmoil. So why is a family lawyer telling you about the importance of self-care advice on relationship breakdown? Because I recognise that relationship breakdown brings with it a similar sense of loss and grief that a death in the family brings, but with added complications. Society in general recognises the legitimacy of grieving when there is a death in the family. Friends and family tend to gather and offer support and assistance in such a case. There may be much needed financial assistance by way of insurance or superannuation payouts. Such an event also brings closure with a special ceremony to mark the occasion.
This is not the case usually on a relationship breakdown. The outpouring of support and assistance is not always there and the situation not always understood. Each party is dealing with their changed situation in their own way. Rarely do couples simply shake hands and walk away and start new lives without emotional complexities getting in the way.
This is where the importance of self-care on relationship breakdown comes in. As a family lawyer I recommend coping strategies to my clients to assist them through what is generally the most difficult time of their adult life. When everything in your world has changed, it is important that you find a way of dealing with those changes as quickly and effectively as possible.
In my role as a family lawyer, I recommend to my clients regularly, these simple steps to self-care:
- Make time to reconnect with nature. Walk on the beach, visit the Botanic Gardens or just sit on the Esplanade and watch the water birds.
- Enrol in a meditation course or download a meditation app. Start your day with a period of meditation. A psychologist friend does this religiously every day.
- Get plenty of sleep. See your GP If you are not sleeping well through worry or stress. The power of a good night’s sleep should never be underestimated.
- Eat well and eat regularly. Now is not the time to indulge in junk food [chocolate does not count as junk food].
- Limit your alcohol intake. This is not the time to overindulge. You need a clear head.
- Ask your GP for a referral to a psychologist who deals with relationship breakdowns.
- Form new habits that are uplifting or start on that hobby you always wanted to enjoy.
- Spend time with your children. Children keep you honest [but don’t share your adult concerns with them].
Why am I recommending these steps? Because a client who is prioritising their self-care is able to give me clear instructions and that helps me progress their case readily and along the way save them money on legal fees. When clients prioritise self-care and build their emotional resilience, this assists them through the inevitable negotiation process following relationship breakdown. Whether discussing parenting issues, property matters or both, emotional resilience is essential to deal with the situation with the minimum of stress.
Take care of you – you are worth it!