4 Ways A Healthy Lifestyle Can Help You Start A New Chapter
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By Sherri Goodman, Guest Author - October 30, 2015

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We've written before about the need to find yourself before finding a new partner after a divorce. This is a very important step for a lot of women, but also something that can be easier said than done! The idea of "finding yourself" is different for each individual and often a lot of the process is intangible. In other words, no one can tell you exactly how to go about it.

In this article, I want to talk about one aspect of finding and becoming a better you that has always struck me as particularly important: improving your nutrition, and devoting time and energy to living a healthy lifestyle. A lot of us believe we're leading healthy lifestyles because we watch what we eat and exercise regularly—and this usually suffices for basic health. But turning these practices into a real point of emphasis, rather than a routine or even obligation, can help you shift from being healthy, to thriving.

There are a few ways in particular that this kind of shift can help you to find your best you and start that next chapter in life:

1. Exercise Relieves Stress

We all know that there are various physical benefits to regular exercise but, in addition, regular physical activity also holds enormous potential to relieve stress—which is a very important practice for a lot of divorced women. Those who are active on a regular basis have a lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning, and often find that exercise can even be a source of pleasure once they really get into it.

2. Education Improves Nutritional Habits

A lot of us feel like we have very healthy diets because we follow some basic guidelines: not too much sugar, plenty of vegetables, no fried foods, etc. But devoting yourself to a healthier lifestyle can lead you to a deeper understanding of your own nutrition, and thus to habits that could take you to new heights of physical wellbeing. As some nutrition coaches will tell you, there are so many tools and diets out there that the 21st century has begun to feel like the most nutritionally focused era in history. Not all of those tools are necessarily helpful, but the point is that there are many ways to educate yourself and try different nutrition techniques. Finding the right one can be like finding a secret key to a better life.

3. Eating Better Improves Confidence

So much of the process of finding yourself or turning a page in life is about confidence. Whether it's a divorce or some other obstacle in your life, drastic changes can rattle even the most confident women to the point that steps need to be taken to regain confidence and self-assuredness. Nutrition plays an enormous role here—and not in the way many assume.

Too often we think of the link between healthy living and confidence as an issue of body image. We believe that shedding a few pounds is the reason for a confidence boost. Of course, that can be the case and better physical fitness never hurt anybody's ego. However, the truth is that when we make the conscious choice to eat better and healthier, we feel better about ourselves— regardless of physical results.

As an added bonus, eating the occasional unhealthy treat is even more relaxing, because you can do it guilt-free knowing your overall nutrition is strong! With that in mind, it's a good idea to have a "cheat" day where you get to eat whatever you want.

4. Better Nutrition = Better Energy

Simply put, practicing better nutrition leads to improved energy, as you'll almost certainly begin to avoid foods, drinks and habits that make the body feel sluggish. This may sound obvious, but there's no overstating how important it is for any new initiative in life. Whether you're taking time to relax and soul search, trying new things on a daily basis, or even if you're the sort to travel to find yourself, physical energy, and mental alertness are going to be a big help.

Through all of this, a healthy lifestyle can become a crucial component of your life, not just for the sake of your physical health but in your journey to turn over a new leaf. Even subtle improvements to your diet and exercise routine can help you to feel more relaxed, confident and self-assured as you go after the next chapter in your life.

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