There is no denying that divorce is an incredibly painful experience. The range of emotions you might feel, from anger to depression, can be similar to the kind of grief that accompanies a physical loss. Fortunately, there are ways to find, and maintain, your emotional balance during this difficult time.
According to US News & World Report, self-care can have both immediate and long-term benefits. It can reduce your risk of chronic health problems and keep you mentally sharp. Here are four tips for staying healthy during a divorce.
Getting Divorced is Hard: 4 Ways to Stay Healthy
Staying fit doesn’t need to involve anything fancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, any amount of physical exercise can have immediate benefits. You can improve your mood, maintain your weight, and help you get better sleep. All of these are important during a divorce, when things may feel really out of whack. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the office or walking around the block during your lunch break. Exercise can also be a social experience.
Get your friends together to power walk at the mall or commit to a regular spin class. Getting out and staying social can help you avoid falling into a mental rut in the midst of your divorce.
Maintaining an exercise routine and eating healthy go hand-in-hand. We all respond to stress in different ways. Some of us might stress eat or avoid food entirely, which can cause our weight to fluctuate.
Take control of your diet by eliminating unhealthy foods like chips and soda. Try your best to eat three square meals per day that balance carbs, protein, and healthy fats. You might feel like eating is the last thing you want to do. Something simple like a smoothie or comforting like a grilled cheese sandwich can give you the nourishment you need when you’re hungry without the effort of making a full meal.
Stick to a Routine
Mental Health America advises against going through a divorce completely on your own. A smart smoke detector can send you alerts on your phone so you can focus on your daily routine knowing your home is protected.
Make sure to get up and go to work at the same time every day and do your best to maintain connections with the friends and family that care about you. It’s also okay to give yourself permission to grieve and be angry or frustrated. Emotional healing takes time. It’s perfectly normal to not rebound immediately.
Explore your interests away from the activities you enjoyed with your partner. Invest in yourself and the things you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for a painting class or volunteer at a local charity. Things might not feel the same anymore but broadening your horizons can help you focus on the future as you begin to build a new life for yourself.
If you have children, take time to listen to their worries. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault. Keep their daily and weekly routines as stable as possible. If there were activities that you all did together as a family, you can either adjust them or create new ones.
Create a Mind-Body Balance
Self-care isn’t just about tending to the physical body; our emotional bodies need love and support, too. Work either on your own or with a counselor to build a mind-body practice that makes sense for you. It might involve meditating, yoga, prayer, or deep breathing.
Most importantly, remember to value yourself. You are important and worthwhile, and nothing can change that. These tips can help guide you towards finding your equilibrium in the chaos.