How to look after yourself during your divorce


date published

23rd February 2015

written by

Emma Heptonstall Image

date published

23rd February 2015

How to look after yourself during your divorce

It’s easy when you’re getting divorced to get into taking care of everyone else.  Your children come first right? Then there’s your parents. Particularly if your parents have had a happy marriage, or, they stuck out the “Til death do us part thing” because that’s what they believe you “should” do. Your divorce is a bit of a shock and to be honest, it’s gut wrenchingly shocking for you so you take your attention out of your body and get on autopilot. If your honest, you’ve no idea how to look after yourself during your divorce.

  • You feel totally out of control because you just can’t seem to get your self together.
  • It feels like a bad dream that’ll never end.
  • You’ve got cotton ‘wool brain’ and making decisions about what to wear is frankly just too hard.

Self-care during divorce is really important

It’s vital that you get clear about how to look after yourself during your divorce. You see, you may feel crap about yourself now. You may feel worthless, unloved and you’re confidence might be through the floor, but the truth is, we are all responsible for ourselves; even when we in a happy fulfilling relationship. Remember how happy and confident you felt when you were in love and felt loved? That you is still there and is worth nurturing.

When you look after yourself during your divorce, you’re actually in a better place to take care of your children and manage the wider family fall-out. The biggest benefit though, is that you invest in you. Investing in yourself builds your self-esteem, it helps quieten the negative voice in your head that’s telling you that you’ve failed; that you’re not capable of sustaining a relationship and that you’ve let your children down.

Remember when you fly in an aeroplane? The cabin crew tell you that in the case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first before you help others. The same goes for your divorce. You have to help yourself first.

The cabin crew tell you that in the case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask  first…


With these five straight forward tips, you’ll be able to manage your divorce like the smart confident woman that you are, seek out the best divorce advice for you, take care of your children and your family and move forward with your life.

5 Tips on how to look after yourself during your divorce

1. At first, do nothing

Reacting is one of the worst things you can do when faced with divorce. Even if it’s your idea and you’ve been thing about divorce for weeks, it takes time to really land in your body once that thought has left your mouth. Thinking is one thing. Saying and doing are separate things. Let it settle with you and your husband for a while.

2. Communicate

Keeping the lines of communication open when you’re getting divorced can be challenging. I get that. The thing is, in my experience as a family mediator and divorce coach, lack of communication is the number one reason divorce becomes messy and expensive. By talking with your husband about your divorce you can begin to move forward both in practical and emotional ways.

In communicating, you can begin to look at why you are getting divorced and, as hard as it may be, begin to take joint responsibility for the end of your marriage. The hard truth is, that happy relationships don’t end. There I said it. Happy relationships don’t end. It takes two people to end a relationship as it takes two people to make one. Perhaps it’s you that was unhappy, perhaps it was your husband. I’m guessing that if one of you was unhappy, then deep down you both were. Admitting this can be hard. It can be terrifying. But. And it’s a big but. Do this now; accept, forgive and learn, and you can move forward without anger and resentment. In terms of divorce, anger and resentment are expensive commodities.

In terms of divorce, anger and resentment are expensive commodities.

3. Get support

I know that I’ve said this before, but when you are getting divorced, get support. It’s the biggest gift that you can give yourself and those around you. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength. No really. It’s a sign of strength and self-awareness. Getting the right support can prevent you from getting stuck. Stuck on that emotional merry-go-round of crying and bitching, bargaining, pleading, wishing and hoping. It helps you face the truth, it helps you look at how you can manage your divorce so it doesn’t become all-consuming and it can help you look to the future with confidence. Best of all, it allows you to be you without fear of judgement.

4. Eat and sleep well

Eating well is important in looking after yourself during your divorce.   Making yourself a healthy meal supports you both physically and psychologically. Making an effort to cook a healthy balanced meal not only gives you  the usual nutritional benefits and keeps your blood sugar levels stable, which will help keep control of your moods; the act of making the effort to make a healthy meal gives your unconscious mind the message that you are worth it. Because you are. Right?

the act of making the effort to make a healthy meal gives your unconscious mind the message that you are worth it

Getting good quality sleep is one of the essential ingredients of how to look after yourself during your divorce. Research shows that lack of sleep can cause a number of health related illnesses including stress and high blood pressure. If you are struggling with insomnia the NHS website has useful strategies to support you to get your sleep back on track. Be mindful of your alcohol intake as this can also have a significant impact of the quality of sleep you are having.

5. Exercise

Exercise. It may be the last thing that you feel like doing now. You’d rather stick your head under the duvet and hide from the world, or sit on the sofa with a box of chocolates and watch films. The thing is, exercise can really support you to feel better because it lifts your serotonin and endorphin levels which help to regulate your mood, and regulate your sleep.

Remember, looking after yourself during your divorce is one of the most important things you can do. It gives you the physical and emotional support you need to get through and move on with your life. There is life beyond your divorce.

I’m Emma Heptonstall The Divorce Alchemist.  Divorce Coaching enables me to  work with women who are, or who are thinking about getting divorced, to support them in making those crucial decisions. I help women like you get clear about what they want, what their options are, how to manage the financial side of their divorce. I show them how to communicate with themselves, their husband and their lawyers. I make sure that their divorce doesn’t define who they are by supporting them to see that it’s a process from which there is an end. I help women to create an exit strategy that allows them to move forward through their divorce with confidence and ease.

If you are a lady who could use my help, you can download my free ebook The Smart Woman’s Guide To Divorce or email me at to arrange your free 30 minute Discovery call to find out how I can support you through your divorce.

Emma Heptonstall The Divorce Alchemist Divorce Coaching


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