Getting a divorce can feel like a death; many people grieve and mourn the end of their marriage. Because it can be such a stressful process, it is important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. The following are ways to show your body and mind some TLC:
- Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good brain chemicals. Any type of physical movement counts, even walking. Exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, and improves sleep. Exercise also gives your self-confidence a boost, something anyone going through a divorce could certainly use! Try to find an exercise buddy to hold you accountable and who will help motivate you when you are feeling lazy.
- Clean up your diet. Some people eat more when they are stressed; others feel like they can’t eat a thing. Either way, it is important to eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid over or undereating because of how you are feeling. A balanced diet will keep blood sugar levels stable, which helps keep your moods stable as well. Drink plenty of water, and try to include many antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a “normal” schedule. Your life isn’t over because you are getting a divorce, even though it may feel like it is. Try to be consistent in your routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same times every day can help.
- Spend some time in nature. Sunshine and fresh air can boost serotonin levels in your brain.
- Stay on top of your health. Some studies suggest that divorced people are more likely to develop heart disease than non-divorced people. When it comes to your body, it is better to prevent a problem now than to try to fix it later. Seek preventative health education and medical care, and engage in heart-healthy habits.
- Find a support system. It is common to lose friends when you divorce your spouse, because friends often choose a side. Find a new social network if you need to. Social isolation can make depression and anxiety issues worse.
- Relax! If you can afford to, treat yourself to a massage on a regular basis. Peaceful activities such as yoga or meditation can be helpful in reducing stress levels as well.
- Talk to a professional. The strategies above may not be effective in lessening the dark clouds of depression for some individuals. If you are really feeling stuck or think you are suffering from depression, talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
- Take a break from dating. Don’t rush into another relationship. Take care of your body and mind and make sure to fully recover from your divorce before seeking comfort in a new partner.
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