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How to Create a Divorce Self-Care Routine


If you’re in the early days of a divorce, let’s take a second to not think about lawyers, or money, or what happens next in a divorce. That will all get figured out in time, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. You’re going to have a lot of logistical hurdles, difficult conversations, and emotional moments ahead of you. As you face all of that, it can be helpful to have a strong self-care routine that can support your wellness during challenging moments. Prioritizing both your physical and mental health during a divorce will make a difficult season feel much more manageable. Keep reading so you can start creating your divorce self-care routine. 

Step 1: Take note

To uncover your ideal self-care routine, for the next seven days you’re going to pay attention to your current routine and any other daily habits that either lift you up or bring you down. Answer the following questions every day to gain insight into how you’re feeling and what you need. 

  • Did what I ate and drank today make my body feel good?
  • Was I physically active?
  • How much sleep did I get last night?
  • What was the best part of my day?
  • Did I connect with a loved one?
  • What was missing from my day?
  • Did I feel emotionally supported today? And if so by who?
  • Overall, how would I rate today? (give a rating of 1 to 5)

Step 2: Reflect on patterns

Look back at your notes from the past week. Do you see any recurring patterns? Look at the days you gave the highest overall ratings. What happened those days? Did you make it to yoga after work? Did you have dinner with a friend? Did you get a full eight hours of sleep? Write whatever worked down.

  • Overall, how would I rate today?
  • When did I feel emotionally supported?
  • What foods made me feel good?
  • What events brightened my week?

Alright this part is less fun, but it’s important you spend a few minutes reflecting on the lower points of the past week. Can you identify any choices or events that made you feel stressed, tired, or overwhelmed?

  • When was I least happiest this week?
  • When did I not feel emotionally supported?
  • What foods made me feel bad?
  • What events darkened my week?

Step 3: Create an informed self-care routine

Now that you know what elements of your current self-care routine are working — and more importantly which aren’t — you can craft your perfect self-care routine. Well, as perfect as you can make it under the circumstances. Self-care shaming is real and you should never feel bad if you can’t afford a spa day, if you like to reach for a bag of chips after a long day, or if pilates really isn’t your thing. But you should do what you can, within reason, to prioritize your own wellbeing. 

While you don’t have to follow this routine to the letter of the law every day (stressing out over self-care kind of defeats the point), let this routine serve as a roadmap to wellness and as a reminder of what areas of your life you can control — even during a divorce. 

Need more insight into how to take care of yourself during a divorce? Your Divorce Guidebook: One Step at a Time breaks down everything you need to know about alimony, child support, and more!

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