Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Health with Divorce

Keeping Healthy in Body, Mind, and Spirit, After Divorce

photo-1498568715259-5c1dc96aa8e7 - CopyAnyone who has been through a divorce will easily understand why the process ranks second in the iconic Holmes and Rahe stress scale. Such a big change in one’s personal life has a significant impact on your financial situation, home stability, and, sometimes, social status. Living a happy, healthy life post-divorce can be challenging, but it can definitely be achieved by keeping your body and mind in optimal shape. In this post, we discuss the importance of approaching health in an integrated manner, during the post-divorce weeks and months.

What Happens to Your Body when You are Stressed?

Stress is more than a state of worry or anxiety; when present chronically, it can cause elevated blood pressure, digestive problems, and headaches, and it is linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. There are no big secrets when it comes to being physically fit. Daily exercise (aim for 30 to 40 minutes) and a sound, Mediterranean diet (comprising lean proteins, seasonal fruits and veggies, nuts, and healthy fats such as olive and flaxseed oil) are key.

Foods for Life and Adaptogens

Stressful times call for extra measures, and this means placing a bigger emphasis on life-enhancing superfoods such as apples (linked to a reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes), apricots (which are a known immunity booster) and blueberries (rich in anthocyanin, a flavonoid thought to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). These are just a few of a vast list of superfoods, so feel free to experiment with new ones depending on the results you wish to achieve.

Back these up if you are feeling low with amazing adaptogens. As noted by beauty guru, Leslie Kenton, these are herbs and roots that “improve your ability to adapt to all forms of stress, while at the same time helping to normalize its biochemical effects.”

Some of the best known adaptogens include Siberian ginseng (thought to promote better sleep, increased stamina, and clearer thinking), suma (a wild root said to raise energy levels and increase endurance), and echinacea (an excellent detoxifying supplement).

Making Room for Mindfulness

Mindfulness based activities such as yoga and meditation are currently used across the globe in top centers catering to a numerous conditions, including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Yoga is also recommended to deal with stress caused by diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease, with researchers strongly recommending this millenary practise as a complementary therapy following their successful findings.

Study after study has shown that yoga, meditation and even Tai Chi significantly lower levels of stress hormone, cortisol, and boost energy levels and mood. Scientists belief their success has to do with their emphasis on mind-body control and on pranayamic breathing (which is a powerful way to stop a panic attack in its tracks, as well as keep the mind ‘in the here and now’, instead of focused on the past or in a state of worry about the future).

When going through a divorce, it is vital to approach health and fitness from a multi-faceted perspective that encompasses both traditional healthy nutrition and exercise, as well as activities that work on a mental and spiritual plane. By committing to yourself and exercising self-compassion, health and wellbeing can be two core values that shape your life for the better.

 Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.  

Having Happier, Healthier Post-Divorce Holidays

Weathering the holidays after a divorce can be difficult for a newly-single parent. You’re trying to make sure the season is a fun, festive time for kids whose family photos will likely look a lot different this year than last, while possibly balancing the wants and needs of the other parent.  

But, even with all of those demands, it’s critical to take care of your own physical and mental health, particularly if the despair of divorce left you depressed. Here are some suggestions that could help you and your loved ones have a happier holiday season. 

Share the Season 

Under most circumstances, both divorced parents should share the joys of the season with their children. To make that as painless as possible for everyone involved, it’s important to set a schedule you can agree on and communicate clearly. Rather than visiting one another’s new homes — which may well be decked with holiday decorations you once shared, or sadly under-adorned — consider dropping off and picking up the kids on some neutral ground that’s festively festooned for the season.   

If the kids are staying with your ex for a while, make plans to spend time with others rather than going it alone. You may also consider joining a support group or signing up for volunteer opportunities. Doing for others will help keep you from dwelling on your divorce, according to Divorce Magazine. Studies have also shown that volunteering can lower depression, increase people’s sense of well being, and even lead to a longer life span. Experts say the positive effects could come from the good feelings volunteering creates, the increased social connections, or the simple act of getting off the couch.   

In addition to making time for others, you should devote some days to self-care. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating right, and exercising. Burning off some calories justifies some guilt-free holiday indulgences. Finding time during the hectic holiday season to work up a sweat and balancing good nutrition with an occasional slice of pie will also help boost your spirits without having the same effect on your weight.  

Watch the Weather 

If your mood declines with the temperature, don’t discount depression as a run-of-the-mill bout with the winter blues. It might be a case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). For most, symptoms start in the fall, stretch into the winter months, and become more pronounced as the season continues, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although it’s less common, spring and summer bring on seasonal affective disorder for some. In either case, symptoms could include changes in appetite or weight, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating.   

Specifically, symptoms of fall- and winter-onset seasonal affective disorder could include:  

  • Oversleeping 
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates 
  • Weight gain 
  • Tiredness or low energy   

It’s normal to have some down days, especially after a life-changing event like divorce. But if you feel depressed for extended stretches and can’t get excited and motivated to participate in activities you typically enjoy, it might be time to seek help. This is especially true if your appetite and sleep habits have changed or if you indulge in alcohol to feel comfortable or relaxed. If you have persistent thoughts of death or suicide, it’s critical to call your doctor even if you haven’t experienced other signs of depression.    

After a divorce, you may feel as though you’re doing double duty as a parent during the holidays. But taking care of your own physical and mental well-being when you have so much to do for friends and family isn’t seasonal selfishness. Rather, it’s essential to helping everyone have a happier, healthier holiday season that will bring up warm memories for years to come. 

Author is Paige Johnson      Paige is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist.  website learnfit.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get in Shape for Free: A Fitness Guide for Single Parents

Engaging in regular exercise is one of the smartest investments anyone can make, especially if you’re a single parent who needs the energy to keep up with her kids. And when we say “investment” we’re talking about time and effort, not money. To show you what we mean, here are several free (or almost free) ways to get in shape. Use these tips to give you the guidance and motivation you need to achieve your fitness goals.

Stick With the Basics 

TV programs love to show images of people with big arms and sculpted abs. The purpose behind most of these promos is to sell you some kind of overpriced product, usually with the promise that it will turn you into a superhero. Sadly, the real world never works that way. Most home fitness machines end up as overpriced coat hangers or yard sale merchandise. So skip the gadgets and start with these four classic routines instead:

  1. Pushups. This one exercise can do you more good than all the fitness products on the market. It strengthens the arms, shoulders, chest, abs, and even the legs. Plus, it costs you nothing. You need only a small amount of space and the motivation to improve yourself. And don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do a standard push-up right away. There’s no shame in starting at the intermediate level by bending your knees. Soon you’ll be pumping them out with the best of ’em.
  2. Situps or leg raises. This exercise will bulk you up without draining your wallet. Some people have trouble doing sit-ups because of neck or back issues. If that sounds like you, then leg raises are a great alternative, according to the fitness experts at the New York Times.
  3. Squats/deep knee bends. Not only will this exercise give your legs a great workout, it’s a perfect way to get cardio benefits at the same time. The burpee is a more advanced variation of the squat, one that combines the benefits of squats and pushups while getting your heart going.
  4. Walking. Yep, you read that right. According to Mayo Clinic, you can enjoy fantastic health benefits simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Start by walking 30 minutes 3-4 times a week, then increase the intensity by picking up your pace or walking hills as time goes on. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and dress with the weather in mind.

Staying Motivated 

We all know that lack of motivation is the reason why most people fail to exercise. So don’t feel bad if your biggest challenge is summoning the willpower to succeed. You’re far from alone. Here are some proven ways to turn your lethargy into a lust for fitness:

  • Have a workout partner. The two of you can keep each other pumped as you sweat the pounds away. Your children can also accompany you in a stroller, on foot, or even a scooter or bike.
  • Give yourself positive feedback each time you complete a routine. For example, you may allow yourself a new workout shirt in return for week of cardio workouts.
  • Visualize the results. Picturing yourself as the person you want to be can inspire you to get off the couch and get moving. Try it.

After a few months of commitment to the above, you may consider expanding the workouts you try. You can add simple (and relatively cheap) items to your home gym to start incorporating more advanced exercises into your routine. By doing so, you’ll continue to see results month after month.

Get on the road to a new and better you starting today – you’ll look back on the decision as one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself.

Author is Paige Johnson      Paige is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist.  website learnfit.org/

More outstanding advice for having better workouts and  healthy lives in    Avoid These Workout and Post Workout Mistakes To Maximize Your Results www.massgainsource.com/post-workout-mistakes/   Author is Mark Williams

                

Finding Support When Going Through A Divorce

Divorce is a traumatic and stressful experience which can trigger many negative emotions. A person may feel unsettled, frightened and uncomfortable with the many changes they are going through. They may experience depression, guilt, anger and despair over the ending of their relationship. They may also feel frustration, fear, and anxiety about their future. The ending of a marriage frequently leads to sadness. A person may also dread the prospect of being single. If they’ve been married for a long time, they may also have to deal with changes in their social and financial state.

Divorce can bring out the worst in people, leading some to make to petty demands and display abusive behavior. Some people may begin to feel guilty that they were not able to do more to save their relationships. Others may become depressed at the thought that their life is going to change and they may not be able to handle it by themselves. All of these jumbled up emotions can make a person miserable.

As painful as these emotions are, they are a natural part of the grief process. This is how many people respond to life-altering events. These emotions are difficult to handle and there is no cure for how you feel. However, there are some healthy ways to handle your feelings, so that you can gain strength, compassion, and wisdom from what can be a very negative experience. Your emotional healing process begins when you allow yourself to grieve the end of your relationship and you will begin to heal when you can finally move on with your new life.

Some people find that sharing their feelings with others can reduce their suffering. A sympathetic ear can do wonders for a person in emotional pain. That’s the reason people turn to family and friends when they are in the process of getting a divorce. They ask for assistance and support from the people they trust and those who are best able to offer help.

While many people find someone who will allow them to vent their anger, cry out their hurt, talk about their fears and listen to them, it can be difficult for some to find that comfort. Many people have complex and stressful lives and over time, they may tire of listening to a person’s grief, especially if that person cannot get over their pain and move on. Unfortunately, some people find that they do not have anyone to support them through their divorce. For those people, support groups or a professional therapist can offer the help they need.

The main benefit of attending a support group is that you are with other people who are going through the same type of situation. These meetings are usually held in a church or community center. A person can meet face-to-face with others in various stages of grief, all healing from the pain divorce has caused in their lives. In these groups, people come together to learn how to handle their emotions and support.

Some people find it difficult to attend a face-to-face meeting or there may not be one available in their local area. Online support groups offer 24-hour support. However, the support provided is not as personal, although it is more accessible. With online support groups, a person has the opportunity to meet people who are going through the same pain. But be warned that these groups are often plagued by trolls who use this public forum to insult and ridicule others.

If a person has existing mental health conditions, divorce can make things worse, especially for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression or personality disorders. Divorce is often viewed as a personal failure and for some, this increases any feelings of inadequacy they may already have. Therapy is one way to work through these feelings. Some people need to understand why their marriage ended and therapy can help give them a new prospective, which can help stop them from blaming themselves for everything that went wrong.

Many people who have divorced have learned about what they want and don’t want from a relationship. However, in order to learn this, they need to discover more about themselves and their personal characteristics. Therapy, during and after divorce is more about a person learning about themselves than it is about them getting over their marriage.

A qualified therapist understands the effect divorce can have on a person’s life and the changes they will experience during the divorce process. They can offer a person a place to vent in a healthy way. A person can talk openly about their fears and share emotions that may be too intense to share with their family and friends.

A therapist can show a person various techniques to help with stress, grief and negative thinking. This can help a person going through a divorce to be a caring and effective parent who can help their child cope with the divorce in a healthy manner. It also lays the foundation for a healthy new life after the divorce is finalized. Before choosing a therapist, a person should interview several and then, choose a person that makes them feel safe, but is also prepared to guide them out of their grief.

A person does not recover from divorce overnight. This is a process without any time limit. There are many changes to adjust to. It’s not uncommon when couples split that friendships are also dissolved and in-laws will be lost. This only makes the pain worse. A parent may also feel guilt over the pain divorce causes for their children.

Getting the right support can help a person work through these issues in a positive way and can help to turn a difficult event into an empowering and life strengthening experience.

Ferdinand Marin is the publisher of CBT Worksheets, http://cbtworksheets.com/  providing custom worksheets which help mental health professionals to more effectively and accurately use the Cognitive Behavioral Method in their practices. Visit CBTWorksheets.com to learn more.

 

 

How To Boost Your Happiness

You may be going through the motions of life while others seem to have the secret to happiness. Happiness may have alluded one during marriage and finding it after divorce is high on the list. What exactly is happiness? It is a transient feeling which requires frequent boosters. Planning an exotic getaway, buying designer shoes on sale, or a day at the spa bring on happiness temporarily. Once the boost is over then one looks for another fix. We are born with a set point for happiness and various studies put it between 33% to 50%. This means that how happy we are is partly due to genetics and we can control the rest. Some people seem to be born cheerful and others more morose, as I have witnessed in the school setting. Andrew Carnegie, the American philanthropist born in Scotland, said “If you want to be happy – set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” During divorce, just surviving and getting through it may be the goal. After divorce come up with long-term ones such as exploring the world, a better financial situation or balancing family and work.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK

Cultivating a positive outlook helps one to view the world as a friendlier, safer place. If one expects to be treated badly, then they perceive normal interactions with others as negative. In one study on happiness, people were asked to think about a memory. The happier folks thought of happy ones. The test subjects who were depressed gravitated towards sad or unhappy remanences. What is the secret to happiness? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert states “The quality of connections with people is the biggest predictor of happiness.” This message is echoed in a 72 year study by Harvard of 268 men in regards to life satisfaction and happiness. Psychiatrist George Valliant was one of the researchers who found that “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” Post-divorce focus on the quality of the connection with other people. Having several close friends brings more happiness than 500 ones on social media. What is important is engaging with others. Strengthen your ties to friends post-divorce. American psychologist Jaime Kurtz has done much research on happiness in the field of positive psychology.

How to Sustain Happiness

To sustain happiness is to have meaning and purpose in life. Ask yourself these questions. What inspires you? What is your passion? What drives you? If you are drifting along and not sure what you want to do after divorce, map out a life plan. Where do you see yourself next year, in five years, in ten? Giving back to others, whether volunteering, doing pro bono work, or mentoring helps give meaning to life. It is easy to be self-absorbed and reaching out to others creates healthy connections. Some people post-divorce started practicing gratitude, where they learned on a regular basis to appreciate the good happenings in their lives. Stop and notice the little things.

If you were on your deathbed now looking back over your life – did you accomplish all that you set out to do? What would any regrets be? What would you have left unfinished and do you have a legacy to pass on to family and friends? This is a good starting place to examine what you want to still accomplish. People that I talked to on their deathbeds, wished they had spent more time with others or had travelled to specific destinations. Let this guide you into have a more fulfilling life which brings happiness.

Schedule fun activities with friends and family. Since these only affect happiness on a short-term basis, fill your calendar with these events. This may be the time to adopt a pet who showers you with unconditional affection.  It takes time to heal after divorce or other adversities, however if feeling like you cannot climb out of a black pit, then seek some help.  Originally published in The Divorce Magazine

 

A Place of Refuge is Needed during Divorce

Divorce can be a time when lives are in an upheaval and the stress level climbs to stratospheric heights. One’s mind and body need a break from the chaotic atmosphere of divorce. What some people do is escape to a special place for a breather to regroup. Is there a destination that brings you joy and contentment? For me it is Kirkwall in the Orkneys or being on a relaxing sea voyage. A divorced friend goes to Aspen, USA to hike and breathe in the fresh mountain air. This revives her to face whatever is ahead.

Think about a short getaway from daily burdens during an acrimonious divorce or when post-divorce issues are emerging. Go on a day trip if going farther afield is not feasible. Some have gone back to the comfort of their childhood homes and met up with old friends. The point is to recharge your batteries by going to your place of refuge. It can be as low-key as spending the afternoon in your favourite café people watching and reading. Coffee shops are friendly and one can get to know the staff. My friend and I have ours in Marylebone, London and they ask us if we want “the usual.” It is a way to feel connected and have a pleasant time while forgetting about one’s troubles. A local pub might be someone’s sanctuary (I have one of those too) where you laugh and chat with the regulars. It might be somewhere quite different, such as a bookshop. Hatchard’s on Piccadilly knows my taste and always recommends some great books. Getting engrossed in these mysteries also is a way to shut out the world.

There are therapeutic trips to consider – yoga retreats near home or in distant places like India. Getting pampered in a country hotel spa or around the corner, such as Neal’s Yard, helps one to look and feel rejuvenated. There are divorce retreats and workshops in picturesque places around the UK. Sometimes it is easier to take off from work when going to a professional conference. Pick one that includes a tour or is set in an exotic locale. It is interesting to meet with foreign colleagues and learn some new job skills. I went to some great nurses’ conferences in places such as Kenya and Egypt. In the middle of my divorce I fled to one in South Africa while my mum stayed with my teens. This is probably what saved my sanity in the midst of contentious proceedings.

Going to one’s sanctuary during divorce can be internal and not on a physical level. Several divorced people said that they mentally visualize their special place and go there whenever needed. It may be a beach, city or rural setting.

Please read more www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/during-the-divorce-process/

 

Emotionally Preparing for Divorce

Whether divorce was discussed by you both as a possibility or if taken by surprise, it still comes as a jolt. Calmly talking about an imminent split does not take into consideration all of the legalities and hoops to jump through to complete the process. It can feel as if one is drowning in all the minutia that comes along with divorce. How to climb out of this pit?

  • Discuss with your solicitor or mediator how you are feeling, such as discouraged and overwhelmed. They want you to be at the top of your game so may be able to streamline the process by bringing some experts on board. Our collaborative solicitors called in an interim child psychologist to set up and monitor visitation during the divorce itself. This took that burden off us parents. She met with our sons to ensure visitation was working out and if the boys were okay. They were not, so she arranged for them to have a therapist. Lighten your load with the expertise of other professionals to make the process go more smoothly. Another example is having a financial advisor work with the divorce team to oversee the division of assets.
  • It is easy to get so immersed in proceedings that one lets other areas slip, such as sleep, nutrition and emotional well-being. Stress decreases the efficiency of the immune system which makes one more susceptible to colds and the flu. Realize that you will have good days and bad ones. Sometimes you feel that you are on top of things and other times that you are skittering on the edge of a breakdown. Divorce is not a straight line, but looks like a graph with peaks and troughs.

Do not think of being stoic or going though divorce alone. This is the time to vent or seek feedback. Let people share their wisdom to help you have an easier time. One great piece of advice that I received, was to let go of the small stuff and focus on what really mattered to me. Fighting over every little thing makes the divorce more adversarial and prolongs the proceedings. Neither of you win and the divorce professionals net higher fees for this battle. Spend time with supportive people and ditch (at least temporarily) those who are not. Get energized by upbeat folks and have some laughs. Schedule some pleasurable pursuits into your agenda.

Divorce is a temporary episode in your life – perhaps 1/85 of it. Put that in perspective.

Please read more:  www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/how-to-prepare-for-a-divorce/

Supplements for Stress and Divorce

Going through divorce takes a toll on emotions and can wreak havoc on the physical functioning of one’s body. Stress puts the body on red alert, that one is facing danger and to get prepared. Chronic stress keeps the body in a hyper vigilant state instead of having down time between episodes. Stress in divorce can particularly affect the cardiovascular system. How to mitigate the damage? Take supplements with your health care provider’s guidance.

Omega 3 protects the heart by maintaining an optimal rhythm and increasing blood vessel flexibility. Stress increases inflammation in the body and Omega 3 decreases it. The Journal of Psychiatry is studying the use of Omega 3 for people with depression and other mental health disorders. A study done at Ohio State University on medical students indicated that it decreases mild anxiety. Participants took either a placebo or Omega 3 over a three month period. The results showed a 20% decrease in anxiety with the Omega 3 group, plus a 14% decrease in the pro-inflammatory compound interleukin 6.

Interleukin 6 can be an anti-inflammatory when within normal limits. It relays information between cells, regulates the immune system functioning and cell growth. It helps to stop colds and infections. When the body has chronic low grade inflammation due to psychological stress, then interleukin 6 increases too much and becomes pro-inflammatory. This leads to diseases such as autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis.

Co-Enzyme 10 (Co Q 10) is an element found in the mitochondria of cells and is especially concentrated in the heart. It converts food into energy and reduces free radicals. A study at Tulane University in New Orleans indicated that Co Q 10 increased the ejection fraction (pumping ability of the heart) by 3.7%. It promotes healthy heart functioning.

Antioxidants are nutrients that include flavonoids that decrease free radicals. Free radicals are the waste products of cells that increase inflammation in the body and the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol increases the heart rate, blood pressure and insomnia. Cortisol is responsible for the flight or fight response.

Holy Basil helped me to relax and get deeper sleep during my divorce. I continued to take it at least for a year post-divorce and have gotten positive feedback about it from others undergoing stressful lives.

B Vitamins get depleted when your body is under the stress of divorce. B6 is especially important for immune health. When the B6 level is low, then the production of White Blood Cells, T Cells, and interleukin 2 are decreased. These elements of the immune system fight off colds and infections. B12 is required for cell growth and division. Middle age decreases B12 and stress does too, so consider particularly having your B 12 level tested.

Biotin is needed for the production of insulin and helps in the metabolism of glucose, fatty and amino acids. You may want to take a multi Vitamin B complex supplement. I notice that I get more headaches when I am lax taking this supplement.

Aromatherapy helped me in divorce and beyond.  Nipping into Neal’s Yard for their fabulous aromatherapy products zapped my stress and anxiety. Therapist have recommended Clary Sage for those tensions headaches that come with divorce. Spraying Lavender on your face or pillow at night is relaxing and induces sleep.  Homeopathic remedies have helped many get through divorce too. Follow the path that is most comfortable to reduce stress for you..

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/

Lowering Stress Post-Divorce for Optimal Well-Being

When we are stressed, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system (via bloodstream) to produce the fight or flight response. The problem is when we stay in this state, it wreaks havoc with the body’s functioning. Being chronically on red alert affects the immune system, decreasing white blood cells and making us more susceptible to colds and the flu. High cortisol (stress hormone) levels raise the heart rate, blood pressure and the probability of insomnia.

  1. Holy Basil is an ayurvedic medicine from India which has been around for over a millennium and lowers cortisol. It has helped my friends and I feel more balanced using it. Another great resource is Bach’s Flower Remedies which have been around since the 1930’s. They have homeopathic medicine for very specific anxieties. For example, Walnut is for those facing a change in their life, such as divorce or a new job. I use White Chestnut before I go to bed for a more tranquil rest. It is used for stopping persistent thoughts in one’s mind, which can be a problem post-divorce. Their Rescue Remedy is for an acute situation and I use it to stabilize one woman in a panic attack so she could get out of the building and be taken to urgent care. Bach’s Sleep Rescue Remedy is fabulous to use when one wakes up in the middle of the night or to get to sleep. I keep a bottle in my nightstand to squirt in my mouth.
  2. Consider adding supplements to your regime. Omega 3 helps to keep a steady heart rhythm and maintain flexibility with blood vessels. Stress depletes B Vitamins, which are crucial for the immune system, so it is beneficial to take these post-divorce. Up your intake of protein and green vegetables. If cooking is too overwhelming, get healthy take away food from a natural grocer’s café.

To read more:  http://divorcedmoms.com/articles/anxiety-postdivorce-6-natural-ways-to-combat-stress

Practicing Gratitude during Divorce

Practicing gratitude during divorce may seem as much of a dichotomy as an elephant riding a bike. Various studies validate the link between keeping a gratitude journal which results in the outcome of increasing joy, enthusiasm and the feeling that life was getting better. These individuals were more apt to reach out to others and willing to offer support. These are all actions which will enable divorce to be an easier experience.

In a study done at university of California, subjects either kept a gratitude journal or wrote about problems or neutral subjects weekly. At the end of the study, those in the gratitude group achieved their goals quicker and scored higher in feeling more positive about their lives. Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough are in the forefront of doing research in the field of gratitude and find that those who practice it, have an increase in their amount of exercise and are more optimistic about what is happening that week. Medical research looks at an EKG as one tool in determining the effects of gratitude on the heart. These studies are indicating that practicing gratitude has a positive effect on the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure, and other body functions. Thoughts influence body functions. Happy thoughts (like gratitude) increase endorphins (the feel good neurotransmitters) and angry ones cause constriction of blood vessels, leading to cardiac disease.

Energy goes where your thoughts are, and if your focus is on misery, then that is what you’ll experience.  Just as weight training enlarges muscles, gratitude is a way of training yourself to notice the good things that are happening around you.

– See more at: www.divorcemag.com/blog/gratitude-during-divorce#sthash.tyvwXPFy.c054U9OX.dpuf

 

How Marriage Helps Men

Various studies found that men have better health and larger social connections as a result of being married. This may be due to their wives arranging gatherings with friends or encouraging doctor visits. In marriage, women have the financial cushion of a dual income and a handyman around the house. I thought it would be nice to always have a date for New Year’s Eve when being married.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said married men were more likely to have had a doctor visit during the last year. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) found that married men between ages 18 to 64 were more apt to get preventative health care than their single counterparts. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force found marriage increased men getting “clinical preventative services” such as diabetic or cholesterol screenings.

Why is this so? Women are usually the captains of household health, taking kids to the pediatrician and going to their regular OB/GYN appointments. After a divorce, women continue to go to these doctor appointments and have preventative tests, such as mammograms. Their health remains status quo.  Men may put off making a routine doctor’s appointment for a check up when they feel line.

Women are the ones who are influencing spouses to get preventative and acute care. The Canadian Journal of Urology reported that unmarried men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from it than are married men. Divorced/single men came in later for a diagnosis than their married peers, resulting in having a cancer that was in a more advanced stage.

. I have witnessed husbands being pushed or shoved into a doctor’s office. As a nurse, I have listened to men tell me that “There is nothing wrong with me. My wife insisted that I be here.”

Although this is changing, right now women do the majority of the cooking in the home. They are the ones selecting tasty and nutritious food. My friend’s husband calls her most days from work to see what is for dinner. Women are used to cooking healthy meals and continue to do so after divorce. Eating out with pals is a fun pastime that we do, whether married or divorced. Marriage is not particularly increasing women’s nutritional states as it is for males. Dr. Kawachi of the Harvard School of Public Health did a study with 30,000 men and found that recently divorced men had a decrease in a healthy lifestyle. He found that they drastically reduced their vegetable intake and upped their consumption of fried food. I could not find any results like this for women.

The New England Research Institute did a study that found 62% of men rely on their wives as their main social support. Women have wider social contacts and have friends to confide in besides a spouse.

divorcedmoms.com/articles/why-men-get-more-out-of-marriage-than-women

Importance of Sleep in Divorce and Life

Sleep is crucial in divorce to ensure that information is retained and appropriate decisions are made that can affect the rest of one’s life.  Both the Slow Wave sleep of Delta and REM are required for optimal processing of material taken in and new skills that are learned. There are three parts to memory formation and these are Acquisition where new material is obtained, and Consolidation when memory is stabilized in the brain. During sleep the neural connections that form memory are strengthened and this stage is called Recall. The hippocampus is the region of the brain that goes over the events of the day. When there is poor quality of sleep, Researchers at University of Berkeley found that memories do not travel from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex, where long-term information and memories are stored. Not retaining information can impact divorce hearings or cause complications post-divorce if a client feels that he never received important facts.

In Delta sleep, the growth hormone is released and is the stage that consolidates new memories and learning. Cell growth and repair of cellular damage occurs in Slow Wave sleep. Too little Slow Wave Sleep can cause weight gain, increases the risk of pre-diabetes, and affects the functioning of the immune system. Not having enough deep sleep can affect a divorcing person’s health.

In the REM stage of sleep, it is as if a secretary is going through memory files and sending less important ones to the archives. New research indicates that REM increases activity in the right hemisphere of the brain which is linked to creativity. Some inventors, such as Thomas Edison, have gotten ideas and answers in their dreams.

Insomnia decreases the ability to focus and take in facts. Various studies indicate poor quality of sleep hinders being able to recall facts. Irritability and poor judgement can occur when a person is sleep deprived. If a person is getting out of control, it may not be entirely due to stress, but also because of lack of sleep. Here are some tips to try:

Bright light can hinder the release of melatonin, so do not use the computer for at least one half hour before bedtime. Exercise earlier in the day and develop a bedtime routine to wind down and relax. Listening to a relaxation CD can help. Sleep in a cool, dark room and recharge cell phones and other devices in another room. Write in a journal or jot down future tasks on a to-do-list to deal with a later time. Please read more:    blogsondivorce.com/importance-of-sleep-in-divorce/

Published in Divorce Magazine

Importance of Sleep in Divorce