This distinctly emotional time will certainly take a toll on your health (and that of your children too) if you don’t incorporate some techniques to stay calm(er), provide balance, and be mindful of your physical health.
Interestingly, I have two dear friends who were (independently) diagnosed with cancer and diabetes during their divorce process. I have heard this same scenario happen again and again to people going through divorce. Change is uncomfortable for most of us. Your body, energy level and psyche are drained and exhausted. Your immunity weakens and then you become vulnerable to a host of ailments and disease. Even if your divorce process is projected to go quickly and smoothly, your body isn’t always able to process divorce emotions on the same timetable.
Having experienced the divorce process firsthand seven years ago, I understand how important it is to stay healthy during this highly emotional time. As an avid (forever) student of health and wellness, I want to share with you some actionable, game changing ways to keep you upbeat, healthy and forward thinking during your divorce:
- Seek a calm, quiet zone…a physical place in your home or near your home which you can at least visit daily…and even more frequently if you need to.
- Cry. Cry. Cry. Cry. Cry….and cry some more. Even if you think you are ONLY angry, your anger is actually masking pain. Cry it out. Get it OUT of you. Sadness and pain are NOT emotions that can serve you if you hold them within you. Negative emotions held within cause DIS-ease. It’s proven.
- Exercise daily. You need physical movement. It’s all part of the process of MOVING forward out of the divorce. Walk, exercise, do yoga, anything that moves your body.
- Ramp up your sleep time! The divorce process can easily drain you of energy. Your body needs additional sleep. Get a good 8-10 hours per night if you can! The deep sleep you have is the time your body can repair itself. ie. its the best time for your healthy cells to grow!
- Seek support. Family, friends, religious/spiritual advisors, and counselors are all wonderful resources to utilize during this time. Sometimes just talking through the sadness, pain, anger, and frustration can help you move through the emotions of the divorce more smoothly. Seek ideas, suggestions, advice. Be open to many perspectives. You don’t need to go through this process alone. Get the help you need.
- Devote special time and energy to your kids. You are not the only one who may be suffering during this process. Your kids, as resilient as you believe them to be, are suffering too. More than likely, they do not yet have the wisdom to understand the bigger picture of your divorce. They simply see it as losing their mom or dad. That’s sad. Let them know you are still there to support them. That will create unfathomable stability and comfort for them.
- Don’t do the drama dance. UGH! Don’t get stuck in the mind games between your future ex and the attorneys. Don’t play the game. It will only cost you money, exhausted emotions and your time. Don’t engage with your “almost” ex unless it is purposeful, civil and/or for the benefit of your children. No use in rehashing the past or finger pointing. It’s useless and won’t help to move your forward.
- Think of the divorce process as a business transaction…your attorney is! Work at staying calm during discussions with your attorney. Although it may be challenging, try to avoid creating legal action with your soon to be ex which will only exacerbate your situation. Attorneys are paid by the hour. While their intentions may be whole and honorable, the more emotion, drama, and distractions you create (which move you away from a productive settlement), the longer the process, and the more money you will pay your attorney. Think business smart. If you can negotiate privately with your “almost” ex, then do so and have it reviewed by an attorney to assure your agreement is sound and legally enforceable.
- Spend time getting to really know yourself. You probably haven’t done THIS in years…or perhaps NEVER have. This is a time of enormous change in your life. It’s a time to reassess who you are and what you want. Identify who/what in your life is most important to you. Identify what YOU need to nourish yourself and become your happiest YOU!
- Have some fun. No, this doesn’t mean go PARTY like crazy, but it means you need to give yourself some pleasure breaks…even simple pleasures…a massage, a short road trip, night out with good friends, a long walk outdoors, a movie (preferably a comedy).Your body requires intermittent “feel good” activities to intercept and counterbalance the negative emotional stresses you are under.
- Have understanding and compassion for your “almost” ex. Whether she/he initiated the divorce or not, both of you are struggling with an emotional toll although independently unique. Even the thinnest pancake has three sides. You have an opinion to why your marriage didn’t work, your “almost” ex may have another. Truth be told, reality lies somewhere in the middle. It just does.
- Desire an amicable post divorce relationship. This is vitally important, especially if you have children. The finalization of the divorce is only the beginning of the new way you will need to interact/communicate with your ex. Work towards civility in both communications and actions. Children, especially, need to see that their parents can be civil to one another. When civility is absent, it is one of the most hurtful things children of divorced parents witness. This new relationship is always possible if you both work hard at it for the good of your children. It will take time and patience to develop. No shortcuts here.
Before you know it, the legal process of divorce will be over. No looking back with guilt or regrets. It’s wonderful to reflect on the good times you shared together with your ex, and there will be some tearful moments here. That’s okay. It’s normal. It’s natural. Just don’t let yourself wallow in the past. It’s gone. You are on your way to creating a new life for yourself (and your children). Focus on staying healthy, insightful and forward thinking. The universe has wonderful plans for you if only you proceed with a genuine desire for self-growth, compassion, kindness and love. Be well.
Pamela Levin is founder and President of Create Amazing Health, LLC including the health & wellness blog www.passionatelypam.com. She turns health upside down and on its side by fusing ancient holistic wellness disciplines with cutting edge health ideas. She is a thought leader, Huffington Post blogger, motivational speaker and catalyst for health change determined to inspire others and make (being) healthy FUN! You can connect with her on the following social media platforms:
or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org