Having a Place of Refuge During the Divorce Process

Having a Place of Refuge During the Divorce Process
Women and Divorce
Wendi Schuller
Author of
The Global Guide to Divorce

Divorce can be a time when lives are in an upheaval and the stress level climbs to stratospheric heights.

Your mind and body need a break from the chaotic atmosphere of the divorce process. What some people do is escape to a special place for a breather to regroup.

Is there a destination that brings you joy and contentment?

For me it is Kirkwall in the Orkneys or being on a relaxing sea voyage. A divorced friend goes to Aspen, USA to hike and breathe in the fresh mountain air. This revives her to face whatever is ahead.

Think about a short getaway from daily burdens during an acrimonious divorce or when post-divorce issues are emerging. Go on a day trip if going farther afield is not feasible.

Some have gone back to the comfort of their childhood homes and met up with old friends.

The point is to recharge your batteries by going to your place of refuge. It can be as low-key as spending the afternoon in your favourite café people watching and reading. Coffee shops are friendly and one can get to know the staff.

My friend and I have ours in Marylebone, London and they ask us if we want “the usual.” It is a way to feel connected and have a pleasant time while forgetting about one’s troubles.

During the Divorce Process
Escape to your favourite cafe during the divorce process

A local pub might be someone’s sanctuary (I have one of those too) where you laugh and chat with the regulars.

It might be somewhere quite different, such as a bookshop. Hatchard’s on Piccadilly knows my taste and always recommends some great books. Getting engrossed in these mysteries also is a way to shut out the world.

There are therapeutic trips to consider – yoga retreats near home or in distant places like India. Getting pampered in a country hotel spa or around the corner, such as Neal’s Yard, helps one to look and feel rejuvenated.

There are divorce retreats and workshops in picturesque places around the UK. Sometimes it is easier to take off from work when going to a professional conference. Pick one that includes a tour or is set in an exotic locale. It is interesting to meet with foreign colleagues and learn some new job skills. I went to some great nurses’ conferences in places such as Kenya and Egypt.

In the middle of my divorce process I fled to one in South Africa while my mum stayed with my teens. This is probably what saved my sanity in the midst of contentious proceedings.

Going to one’s sanctuary during divorce can be internal and not on a physical level. Several divorced people said that they mentally visualize their special place and go there whenever needed. It may be a beach, city or rural setting.

One woman reminiscences about the great times she had as a child at her family’s holiday home on a lake. Just reliving splashing around in the water and the great picnics with friends instantly relaxes her now. One divorced acquaintance was in a band that travelled all over Europe. When he wants a break from stress, he mentally revisits those happier times.

When things are near the breaking point in divorce or beyond – take a physical or mental holiday.

Temporarily stepping away from divorce proceedings can help one gain clarity and take in the whole picture.

The health benefits of getting away include lowering one’s blood pressure and stress hormones while boosting the efficiency of the immune system. Think of a short holiday as a prescription to emotional and physical well-being.



Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).

Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.

She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.

Feature photo – photo credit: IMG_4807 via photopin (license)

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