If your parents are divorcing, it can be hard to care for yourself. That’s what I experienced when my parents divorced. 

However, taking care of yourself is incredibly important during a time like this. These are my tips for self-care and how they have benefited me through my experience.  

1: Take time to find other strong relationships. If my family members are not able to be fully present at the moment, I spend time with people who I know can help support me. For me, I feel like the amount of time I spend going back and forth between one parent and the other takes away from the time I’d like to spend with my friends.  I have dealt with this by building better relationships with people at my school. The people I have really connected with are people who understand what I’m going through — because they have experienced divorce, too, or because they are sympathetic.

2: Try to stay out of the middle of conflicts. I like to remind myself that my parents’ conflicts with each other are not mine or my fault. 

Forward Together Tip: This can sometimes be hard to do. Try to remember that your parents’ conflicts are not about you and if possible you can try to set boundaries with them if you can.  In situations where you may not be able to safely avoid conflict, try talking to another trusted adult in your family, text Colorado Crisis Services, “TALK” to 38255 to talk to a trained professional or connect with a specialist at IMatterColorado.org and receive up to six therapy sessions for free.

3: Make time to talk with your parents about your needs. Pay attention to whether your needs are supported and how. If it feels like your needs aren’t being fully met, make time to bring it up with your parents. Just make sure to do that at a time when they can give you their full attention. 

4: Journal. As a forgetful person, I sometimes forget details of important events. Writing things down helps me keep track of interactions with my parents and my feelings about them to be able to share and work through them. 

5: Express yourself. There’s a lot of built-up pressure around situations like divorce. I express myself through art, which allows me to be creative and relieve stress. Expressing yourself in a way that makes you feel free is a really good way to release some of that pressure. 

6. Consider seeing a mental health specialist. Therapy might not be available to everyone, but it could be available to you. Talking with an adult about your feelings can allow you to express yourself to someone you trust. That way, you can find a healthy way to cope with difficulties like divorce or other challenges you may be experiencing.

Forward Together Tip: If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, professional support is available. Connect with a specialist at IMatterColorado.org and receive up to six therapy sessions for free.