23/05/2014 06:51 BST | Updated 22/07/2014 06:59 BST

Create a Divorce Retreat in the Comfort of Your Own Home

If you are in the middle of divorce, you can get pretty low. Let's face it, the whole divorce process is exhausting, there is so much new info to take on board, with advice from your lawyer, financial advisor, friends and colleagues. Plus you are carving a new pathway for yourself and your family and learning to live a new life.

No wonder divorce is exhausting!

I like to emphase the positive, with helpful articles to get you through divorce and inspiring post-divorce stories and information. But if you are in that down space and facing divorce overwhelm try creating your own divorce retreat. If you have the time, money and energy a trip to the spa might be just what you need. But if this isn't possible you can create your own divorce retreat.

Benefits of retreat

  • You have the time and space to just be. No (or little) doing, just being
  • This allows time for mourning, loss and grief to be processed. Yes, it is painful but going through this will allow you to move on. In private there is no putting on a brave face of holding back the tears and you can truly acknowledge the pain then get beyond it
  • A retreat provides physical rest. Emotional upheavals are physically exhausting, as is coping with major change. The physical rest of a retreat lets you recharge your batteries, physical, mental or emotional
  • A divorce retreat can start the process of healing your wounded self.

How to do a Home Retreat

  • Designate your retreat days as holiday or time off. A week if you can, minimum one day. It is scares you to take a week off, 1-3 days is ideal to start off with
  • Organise some kind of childcare if your children are young. Accept help from friends or relatives, hire a student to child-mind while you are at home. If your children are older, stock up on teenage food and let the kids know you only want to be disturbed if there is fire or major emergency. (I tried this with my teenage boys, who were delighted to live off freezer food for a few days!)
  • Stock up on your own favourite foods. This is divorce: it's stressful time, so get healthy choices that will support your body. But also have treats. If you feel you won't have the energy to cook, good ready meals are available, or a bulk batch of home -made soup will see you through a few lunches.
  • Get a retreat journal and note your thoughts and revelations. Each day specially set aside time without TV/radio/internet and anything that goes beep. Stay in the silence and see what thoughts come to you. Write down how you feel. Waiting in silence is scary, so set a timer for, say, 10 minutes so you can totally focus in on your feelings and not be clock watching.

Combine the above with meditation, e.g. mindfulness mediation.

Gentle exercise, early(ish) nights and all round being kind to yourself are part of your retreat. Fluffy towels ans scented candles are optional extras but certainly help.

How to move on from retreat


  • Emotional issues are often brought up. If you find yourself stuck in these emotions get help form friends, a coach or counsellor
  • Treasure your physical health. Note any problems and decide when you will deal with them (i.e. at once, during or after your divorce)
  • Decide what else you need to help you through and beyond divorce.

Retreat gives you physical rest and gives you space to focus on what you want and need in divorce. Retreat is not an indulgence, it is an essential part of the growth process and divorce survival!