Getting divorced typically ranks as one of the most stressful life events, no matter a person’s age. In fact, due to the stressors of dissolving a marriage, many people around the world find themselves suffering from a variety of unexpected health conditions.
According to a study conducted by the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University, men and women who are divorced are found to have 20 percent more chronic health issues than those who are married or even divorced people who get married again.
Health concerns generally include such chronic conditions as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. As a result, it’s important to protect yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically when going through a divorce. Stress levels, in particular, need to be kept at a healthy level.
Although going through a separation and then divorce is not an easy time, there are a variety of strategies that can be followed to help cope with the challenge in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the mind and body.
From hiring a professional family law solicitor and getting plenty of emotional support, to resting up, eating well, giving back, and beginning a meditation routine, there are things you can do to take back control of your well-being. Read on for some top tips to deal with the stress of a divorce in a healthy way.
When faced with a break down in a relationship, it’s natural to feel a variety of emotions, from denial, to anger, grief, and more. As well, the massive changes that divorce tends to bring about — often a change in living arrangements, financial means, and more — can be overwhelming.
To help you cope, one of the best things to do is seek couples therapy. Rather than holding all of your emotions in, and acting like everything’s fine all the time, you are better off venting to a sympathetic family member, friend, counsellor, priest, or other empathetic ear. There are a variety of sources that you can seek support from in order to not try to struggle with the stress alone.
However, if you don’t find that close friends or family members are supportive of your relationship or other choices, it may be best to seek out the assistance of objective listeners such as those in professional organisations, churches, or divorce support groups. Anyone who has been through a divorce themselves will also be able to have a better understanding of what you’re going through than those who haven’t.
Hire a Family Lawyer
When you already have so much on your plate when dealing with a divorce, it’s generally a good idea to hire the services of a specialist family lawyer to deal with the financial and legal side of things.
While a “do-it-yourself” divorce might work for some couples who remain on amicable terms, for many people this just isn’t feasible. As well, an attorney will have to gather relevant information from you, but apart from that they can take care of the majority of the details involved in getting a financial settlement organised. They can also assist with sorting out custody issues for any children involved in the marriage.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the most important ways to deal with the stress of a divorce is to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. You need to ensure that you get plenty of sleep each night (usually seven or more hours at a stretch), as this helps the body to rejuvenate and cope better with stressful situations.
You also need to eat well. Although cooking a healthy meal may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re under stress, nutritionally-valuable food such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains will not only keep your body “firing on all cylinders”, but will also help to keep your mood level, and increase your ability to make smart decisions.
You can also practice all-important self-care through meditation or relaxing practices such as yoga or Pilates. Completing any mental and/or physical exercises that have you breathing deeply and losing focus on the stress in your life can have a powerfully beneficial impact on your well-being. Completing 30-minute cardiovascular and weights sessions several times each week will also help stay strong, plus act as a stress reliever.
When you’re going through a divorce and all of the associated stress that comes with it, it’s hard not to concentrate on your problems. As a result, one of the best ways to change your point of view and focus on the positive is to give back to others.
Consider volunteering with your favourite charity or helping out at your local church. Aiding others not only helps you to feel better, but also gives you the chance to get out of the house (or office) and meet new people.