In The News

Helping Northern Westchester Families

Mar 2, 2018BY: Melissa Goodstein
IN: Dealing with Divorce

Managing the Stress of a Divorce Practice

Clients ask me sometimes how I manage the stress of a divorce practice.  Listening and understanding the unique concerns and interests of my clients while navigating the complex emotions of divorce is an important foundation of my work. While I remain passionate about transforming how families resolve conflict, it can be exhausting.  Here are some ways I stay focused and energized in my practice and which you may consider in reducing the stress of your life especially if you are yourself going through a divorce:

  1. It is amazing how the power of a breath can center you. The breath forces you to remain in the present where there is no past or future. In meetings that are particularly challenging, taking a deep breath helps me stay grounded. Here’s what I do: Breathing slowly through my nose I place my hand on my stomach and fill it with air; then slowly releasing my breath, feeling the air lifting my stomach and moving upwards and exiting through my mouth. Doing this effectively lowers my stress level and allows me to focus on the present.
  2. In my practice I rely on a core group of colleagues that I can depend upon to offer sound advice and support when I am struggling with challenging issues in my practice. I can simply make a phone call or arrange a meeting with colleagues for guidance and to help me brainstorm solutions and different approaches. In the same way if you are going through a divorce, there are many local support groups where you can meet to share and discuss the issues faced by those families and individuals in divorce. The shared wisdom and support of those who have gone through divorce or who are going through a divorce can help you get through your own divorce in a better way.
  3. Part of my daily practice is my daily walk. In cases of extreme weather, I will take my walk inside on a treadmill. However, I never miss a day unless I am sick. Walking is terrific for lowering stress because it releases endorphins uplifting your mood instantly. It is also the most accessible and adaptable exercise for all fitness levels and ages. I combine my walk with listening to my favorite music which further reduces my stress level. Walking literally and figuratively transports me to another space and clears my mind. I return from my walks reenergized and better able to address the demands of my practice and the needs of my clients.
  4. Fun, Family and Friends. It is important to schedule fun, family and friends into your life. Find time to do something that gives you pleasure and spend quality time with your friends and family. For me, it’s going to the movies, watching tv, hiking, exploring museums, reading newspapers and magazines, traveling, cooking and entertaining. Finding time can be difficult however I make time for this joy every day.
  5. Healthy Eating. Nourishing your body with healthy foods can help your body combat the effects of stress which can lead to physical and mental health issues. I feel better when I eat balanced and nutritionally dense foods such as lean proteins, colorful fruit and veggies and complex carbohydrates. I also love to cook and bake which brings me joy and nurtures my creativity. These Double Chocolate muffins are fast and easy to make and contain antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E and C. Preheat oven 350 degrees. One box of any kind of chocolate cake mix, a can of pumpkin puree, three tablespoons chia seeds, ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips or nuts or both, 1 tsp vanilla, dash of cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of brewed coffee. Mix all ingredients and fill a lined muffin pan, sprinkle more chips, seeds or nuts on top. Bake for about 20- 30 minutes until toothpick comes clean.

The author, Melissa Goodstein, is a member of Northern Westchester Collaborative Divorce Professionals which is an association of lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals specializing in the collaborative divorce process. If you have questions about collaborative divorce and how this alternative to courtroom litigation can work for you, please contact Melissa Goodstein. Contact information can be found by clicking/tapping the author image or the "View Profile" link on this page.

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