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A Divorce Attorney’s Perspective on the Importance of Self-Care

October 19, 2018 | by Lynn Wilson McNally

Self-care is a hot topic these days. If you are a Pinterest fan, a quick search of “self-care” brings up quotes, routines, ideas, products, journals, and other such themes. The concept of self-care first resonated with me about eight years ago. For me at that time, self-care was about physical care. I began a regular workout routine and was diligent about keeping up my outer appearance. While that was fun and fulfilling in some ways, that routine soon fell flat. The idea of self-care came screaming back at me about four years ago, while in the throes of infertility, multiple miscarriages, and ultimately, a pending adoption that didn’t happen because the birthmother changed her mind. These events challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I knew that I needed to make a concerted effort to care for my body, mind, and spirit. That led me to begin a self-care approach I have held onto to this day. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I learned, for example, that I am physically and mentally at my best when I have slept well, moved my body, and spent some time in introspection (whether that is prayer, meditation, or just quiet zoning out). I know there are daily actions I can take to help achieve these goals, and from those action items, I created my self-care plan. The result of being mindful of my goal and implementing my plan is that I have a greater capacity to manage stress and I’m sharper, mentally.

As a divorce attorney, I represent people during a time in their lives when they are facing enormous mental and emotional challenges. Clients who practice regular self-care tend to manage stress more effectively, base their decisions on sound reasoning, and actively engage in the legal process in a thoughtful and efficient way. Those who do not take self-care measures are sometimes disengaged from the legal process and unable to process information and make decisions, hindering my ability to move their cases forward efficiently. In addition, those who are not paying particular attention to mental health during this time can find themselves facing even greater challenges. This is especially true for clients with children, who can be at risk of impairing his or her custodial rights.

My good friend and fellow family law attorney, Jaime Davis, and I recently sat down and recorded a podcast for her Podcast series on the subject of self-care titled, “A Year and a Day.”

I hope you find this information helpful!

Lynn Wilson McNally is a partner in the firm and member of the firm’s Family Law practice group. She is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and certified Family Financial Settlement Mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. She represents individuals in matters regarding separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, domestic violence, termination of parental rights, legitimation and other matters pertaining to family law....LEARN MORE

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