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Tips for Staying Healthy During a Divorce

 Posted on January 07, 2016 in Divorce

staying healthy during a divorce, Illinois Divorce AttorneyStaying healthy during a divorce is extremely important. Not only does taking good care of yourself make the divorce process easier, it also impacts well being far into the future.

Divorce may leave you in emotional turmoil—a slippery slope that can lead to depression or other serious mental health issues. By taking small steps to keep yourself physically and mentally happy, your divorce process itself will be easier and your future well being will be protected.

Why is Health Important During a Divorce?

Experts often liken divorce to the death of a loved one. The stress and grief that accompanies divorce is very similar to those of a physical loss. Taking care of yourself while coping with the death of a loved one is extremely important, and divorce is truly no different. You may feel sick to your stomach, overcome with sadness or anger, or even unable to get out of bed each day. Experts warn that neglecting yourself during a divorce not only impacts how you handle the process in the moment, but can also have serious effects down the road.

Studies show that people who have experienced a divorce face a greater risk for many long term health problems. This is alarming, considering somewhere around 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. While self care may be the last thing on your mind during a divorce, it is extremely important and does not take too much work. Consider the following tips to help protect your mental and physical health during a divorce.

Keep Your Routines

During a time of serious transition, like a divorce, one of the first things to fall by the wayside is our daily habits and routines. Although it may be difficult to get out of bed each morning, do your best to continue business as usual. Consistency is very beneficial to the state of your mental health. Keeping up your routines can help provide a sense of normalcy in an otherwise stressful and chaotic time.

Watch Your Diet

Many marriage experts notice that people going through divorce tend to gain or lose weight. When we are sad, angry, or upset, our eating habits often change quickly, causing our body to fluctuate. This can be dangerous, considering our immune systems tend to become weaker during times of stress or sadness. If you do not provide your body with the nutrients it needs, there can be serious consequences. Experts recommend eating three square meals a day, even on the days you may not feel like eating at all.

In addition to staying physically healthy, eating right can be very beneficial to your mental health. Studies show that making smart food choices can affect depression and anxiety. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can improve our brain's functions and elevate our moods. Additionally, remember to drink plenty of water. Studies have shown that dehydration leads to an increased amount of stress hormones, and nobody needs more stress to deal with during a divorce.

Remember to Exercise

Exercise makes us feel good. When we work out, our brain produces endorphins, which are chemicals that make us feel better. This does not mean you need to hit the gym every day. Even small steps like taking daily walks can make a divorce feel so much better.

Exercise also boosts self confidence, especially important during stressful times like divorce where we may be questioning ourselves. It also helps us sleep better and reduces anxiety, stress and depression. Find an activity that you enjoy, so you will be able to stick with it. If finding the motivation to exercise is too difficult, experts suggest finding a workout buddy.

Exercising outside even has an additional benefit. Exposure to sunlight each day increases our brains serotonin supply and can help provide your body with ample vitamin D.

Find Support

If you are going through a divorce, you need help. Spend time with friends and family members. This can help keep your mind off of your divorce and can also provide you with a great place to express your emotions. Too often, people experiencing a divorce close out the world and become reclusive. Dealing with a divorce alone can heighten depression and anxiety. If friends and family are not available, look for a support group or organization you can turn to.

If friends and family are unable to help, turn to the experts. Seeing a therapist can be a great way to vent and help deal with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. This is especially important for people already prone to mental health issues. Someone with pre-existing depression experiencing a divorce is likely to need expert support.

Be Aware of Your Health

Experts often see people who wait years after their divorce to find out if the process affected their health. Research shows that the stress of a divorce can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, especially in women. Divorce can also lead to an increased risk of diabetes and cancer. Due to this increased risk, experts recommend seeing your physician during and after your divorce. Additionally, it is recommended that divorcees take extra steps to ensure they are heart healthy.

Divorce is never an easy process, so taking small steps to ensure our happiness and wellbeing is extremely important. If you are struggling to cope with your divorce, seek out the help of a skilled professional. Do not let your health reach a point where you cannot undo the damage your divorce caused.

Part of reducing the stress of divorce is working with a qualified attorney you can trust. At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, our skilled attorneys will work diligently to ensure you get the best outcome from your divorce. Contact us at 630-665-2500 to speak to a DuPage County divorce attorney today to review your options. Our team can help provide peace of mind during an otherwise difficult divorce process.


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