How to Practice Self-Care and Self-Love in Your Life After Divorce
Traditionally in our culture, when we women get married, we are expected to love our husbands well, and we are expected to do it while looking cute, putting out, growing in our careers, and having children. We are expected to juggle all the things and pour a whole lot of love into our husbands, our families, and our jobs in the hope that we receive love back. As a result, when we get divorced, we often do not have the skill set to love ourselves well or to care for ourselves well.
After my divorce, the concept of self-love was something I couldn’t quite grasp. I understood that I was supposed to love myself, but it felt so foreign to me. This self-love conversation has been reinforced to me over the last couple of weeks because I’ve been working with a fantastic client whom I love to death. She is divorced, she’s a mom, we’re about the same age, and she’s in the personal development world. However, she told me in our first couple of sessions that she had to Google: “What is self-care, and what is self-love?”
If self-love feels hard to you, you’re not crazy. It is a result of many, many decades (if not centuries) of a cultural emphasis on women loving other people before themselves.
Self-love is a skill set you need to learn.
I Am Worthy and Lovable
There is a lot of talk in the healing space about subconscious negative beliefs, which is a tendency to struggle to believe that you are worthy or lovable. It’s a combination of being told these things consciously or subconsciously and having a lot of painful negative experiences in life (especially your post-divorce trauma). These thoughts end up crawling into us and become low-key beliefs. However, there are strategies to move forward from this.
What is Self Care?
Self-care is anything that is a caring act toward yourself.
Self-care has a reputation for being small materialistic things, such as getting a manicure, buying something from Sephora, doing a face mask, or having brunch with the girls. Those things are great, but when we women talk about deep healing work, those things are only scratching the surface.
One of my favorite things to call out as an act of self-care is peeing when you need to go.
As women, we are so used to deferring our needs to those of the people around us – and not just for our families! Do you know how many years I worked as a therapist, sitting in my chair and not getting up to pee in between sessions because I didn’t want to disturb anybody else’s time? One of the most righteous acts of self-care you can do is pee when you have to pee.
How to Practice Self Care
Self-care is an act of kindness toward yourself. It can be self care and self love, peeing, drinking enough water, moving your body, or making sure you have seven hours of sleep each night.
Check out the self care and self love checklist that’s part of the post-divorce roadmap in my Immersive Journaling experience.
Nervous System Conditioning
Our nervous system isn’t conditioned to do hard things, so we avoid them. It feels hard because we’re breaking out of our old conditioning, but you’re going to be okay. We make the most progress when we take the harder path.
We, women, talk a lot about vibration on my podcast and on my blog. Everything has a vibration. So what is love?
Love has a vibration. If you Google it, the most common answer is 528 Hz. It’s a measurable sound that has a vibration to it, and 528 Hz can be found in every part of nature. It can be found in our DNA, it can be found in plants, and it can be found in all the various layers of the natural world. It is said that if we are vibrating at 528 Hz, we are abundant. We are full of life.
When we women talk about feeling vibrant, full of life, and connected, we start to get the essence of what love is.
528 Hz Energy Healing
Our emotions are an intricate and intentional part of how we process the world around us. Love is what we experience when we interpret that vibration through our emotions and our senses.
I love playing 528 Hz tracks as the background of my life. It helps keep me grounded, open, and feeling good.
How do we women make sure we love ourselves? It’s a very good question. I was blessed that having my daughter helped me with that. I was very, very sick after she was born, but even through the depression and illness, I was able to feel immense amounts of joy, attachment, and love for her. However, I know that not every mom has that experience.
I had never felt a love that intense until I had my daughter. It was completely life-changing for me. And so there was a depth of love I suddenly had access to that I didn’t previously have, and I was able to then turn it toward myself.
I believe that a well-paired homeopathic remedy can also help open access to that level of self-love. I’ve become a huge advocate for the healing powers of homeopathy over the years. There are options and tools out there that will help you.
A Power Greater Than Ourselves
What else has helped me learn how to love myself? The twelve steps from Alcoholics Anonymous, specifically step two. I came to believe that a power greater than myself could return me to sanity. It taught me a lot, and it was integral to my healing process.
How to Love Yourself
Self-love is integral to long-term happiness, abundance, sustainable joy, feeling peace, and attracting a loving relationship that maybe you’ve never had before. It takes practice, and it won’t happen overnight. It will be a process.
The Good Girl Syndrome and Self Love
Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘Good Girl Syndrome’ that has to be acknowledged and has to be let go of. Women are taught to care for everybody else. To deprogram myself from that, I had to catch and interrupt when a voice in my mind would tell me that I needed to take care of somebody else first. I had to be willing to do it differently. I was changing a belief system.
Belief System Change
Changing a belief system is not an easy process, as they create a sense of security.
When we exchange one belief system for another belief system, there are a lot of days when it feels like our lives are not guided.
However, there is always an essential framework and spiritual connectivity to support you.
The next thing that helped me practice self-love was a therapist, lots of personal development, and group therapy. My therapist practiced inner child work. At the time, it felt like a very new concept to me, but it’s since become very popular.
Inner Child Work
In those early days in my life after divorce, I would have pictures of my younger self around the house, in my journal, and on my bathroom mirror. I would do meditations, and I would journal with her. I have clients hold a pillow and pretend it’s their younger self and pour all the love into those younger versions of themselves. It feels easier than trying to pour love into your adult self. For me, it felt like the younger me deserved it, and so I was willing to give it to her.
EMDR is a huge part of how I help people heal their post-divorce trauma in my therapeutic practice, and it’s a major part of how I healed. As I became EMDR trained, I got to apply that to my growth process. And as I became an EMDR patient and started doing deeper-level generational, childhood, and divorce post-trauma work, the processing inside of me became more and more spacious.
What else is integral to being able to love yourself well? A strong support system. I don’t just mean people who will love you to death but also have some level of accountability. I want them to be willing to have hard conversations with you. I want them to be able to call you on your shit. But I don’t want them to shame you. I want them to love you well.
A strong support system is going to bridge the gap on the days when you’re crying in the shower, and you feel like you can’t love yourself or you don’t have the energy to love yourself right.
A strong support system is key for women to know, learn and experience self-love.
Thank you for being here with me. Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some love. Peace.
Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins
...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.