Divorce is hard for any family. You must deal with parting ways with your spouse and keeping your children mentally and emotionally stable. To help create a healthy lifestyle for your kids as you navigate this major change, here are some tips to follow.
Practice Self Care
It’s easy to get depressed and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms at this time. However, not taking care of yourself won’t make the experience any easier. Practicing self-care makes you more focused, energized, and whole, which is important for yourself and your children. How can you be there as a parent and assess your family’s needs if your mind is clouded or you’re extremely fatigued?
Self-care should start with proper rest. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults should get seven to nine restful hours of sleep each night. So make sure your bed has comfortable and clean linens, get new window treatments, and consider planting trees in the backyard to block noise.
Give It Time
As you readjust your life after divorce, don’t expect everything to quickly fall into place. You and your kids are going through a major transition that’ll have ups and downs. So try not to make rash decisions at this time. If you’re unsure about moving, see if you can reach a temporary agreement with your ex-spouse so you both have time to make the right decision about the house.
Make the same consideration with the kids. While you both may want full custody, unless one parent is unfit, you should try to work out shared custody in the meantime and change things later. Both parents must wait two years from the date of the initial child custody order to request a modification.
Regardless of age, children need stability and a routine they can rely on. Between work and school, you and your kids will have busy schedules, so make sure you spend regular time together when possible. Keep track of everyone’s schedule with a shared Google calendar.
45% of diners eat out multiple times a week, with another 20% going out to eat once a week. Something as simple as having a set dinner time every night can keep communication flowing. If you and the family have a traditional pizza night or go to a favorite restaurant, keep that activity going.
Downsize If Needed
Do you currently live in a large home that you need help from your spouse to afford? To avoid financial stress and unmanageable upkeep, you may want to downsize. Don’t be afraid to go from a suburban mansion to a smaller single-family home or condo if it makes sense. You may also want to consider a mobile home. Living in a mobile home can save you over 40% on your housing costs.
Moving to a smaller home can create a sense of intimacy that can benefit your family. Plus, a cheaper home reduces your chances of stressing over finances.
Create New Routines
Don’t be afraid to create new routines with your kids post-divorce. While you want to maintain as many stable existing routines, it may not be possible to keep everything the same. New routines can include changing holiday traditions and vacation spots. You and the kids may begin taking a class together weekly to build skills and bonding. From ASL lessons to dance classes, you and your kids can create new memories and behavioral patterns at this time.
Going through a divorce is a huge life event, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Take the time to consider what’s best for your kids to create a healthy lifestyle. While you should put them first, always take care of yourself in the process.