Well-being

5 Ways To Work Out While Traveling

Traveling and staying in shape might prove quite hectic for many people. Typically, vacations are times for relaxing and giving yourself a treat. As such, it is easier to add calories than to keep fit. However, it is advisable to give your health the priority. Various factors influence your workout options when traveling. Space, abilities, and resources all impact how well you can train. Here is a brief look at some of the best routines you can accomplish while traveling:

  1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Done the right way, HIIT is an effective routine for boosting your heart rate and metabolism. It also regulates insulin levels and aids the breakdown of fats. HIIT sessions aim to push your limit and enhance cardio intensity. Each session lasts 20-45 minutes and does not require any gym equipment. It involves a series of pushups, prone walkouts, pull-ups, sit-ups, burpees and squats separated by brief resting intervals. You can quickly finish a HIIT session in the morning to supercharge your metabolism and fat burning the whole day.

  1. Core exercise and leg workouts

Training your core will build stamina and a good posture, especially since most of your strength and power comes from the core region. It is recommendable to combine core and leg workouts for maximum flexibility and formation. Like HIIT, most core and leg workouts do not require a gym facility. You can perform planks, hanging knee raises, jumping jacks and skater hops at the comfort of your hotel room or even at the beach. This exercise will help you burn down calories and improve your metabolism. You can also integrate core and leg workouts into your HIIT session.

  1. Full Bodyweight exercise

According to research, total bodyweight workouts can target all muscle from your legs and thigh to your abs, chest, arms, and shoulder. They offer a simple way to gain balance and strength using nothing other than your weight. What’s more, bodyweight workouts such as pushups, squats, burpees, and wall sit, and triceps dip and lunges complement each other. They ensure the proportional growth of the body and impact significantly on your overall fitness. You can also do the tuck jumps, limb raises, or donkey kicks during travels or at your hotel room and without incurring any additional cost. When training, it is essential to get proper nutrition and stay hydrated at all times. Fitness enthusiasts also use supplements like Anavar to boost energy and workout endurance. It also helps them to flush out excess water from the body, so they don’t feel bloated while traveling.

  1. Walk, jog, run

As simple as it might look, you should not underestimate the importance of walking.  According to studies, walking and jogging can increase the calories you spend per day. Walking is a low energy cost exercise, so you should go running if you want to burn more calories. You can also combine walking, jogging and running. It is recommendable to take advantage of walking any chance you get. Instead of using lifts, take the stairs. You can also run along the beach, participate in dance and other footwork activities, or even go hiking.

  1. Cycling and swimming

Both cycling and swimming can help you stay in shape during your travel. They are also easy to integrate into your travel workout regimen. You can go swimming at the beach or use the hotel’s swimming pool. For cycling, find bike rentals and ride around to work your leg and thigh muscles. If you get a hotel with a gym, take advantage of the stationary bikes and other equipment to squeeze quick sessions that will leave you feeling pumped.

Conclusion

Working out can help you stay in line with your fitness goals. However, various other factors influence health and fitness. It is highly advisable to establish a supportive lifestyle that is free from drug abuse, stress, and poor nutrition. You should also get enough rest and drink to stay hydrated throughout your workouts. Make sure to perform every move in perfect form to achieve proportional growth. More importantly, train around your needs. If you are on a bulking cycle, eat the right micronutrients for lean muscle development.

Author of this article is Kimberly Clark who is a writer for numerous health and fitness publications. She has been working with many challenged clients for some time now. She can be reached via email at kimberly@linkingaces.biz.

7 Tips To Avoid Insomnia And Get Sound Sleep At Night

Insomnia cases can give you a headache, especially when you are from a tedious job. The condition develops slowly and steadily in individual undertaking activities such as long-distance driving and others.

Specialists are working hard to develop a medication that can curb this kind of disturbing condition. The condition generally affects the regular sleeping routine, and you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. This article exposes seven tips to avoid insomnia and get good sleep.

  1. Understand the sleep-wake cycle You need to consult a psychologist about the recommended sleep schedule that a normal brain should have. The circadian rhythm explains how the brain releases sleep regulator, chemicals, and hormones.The internal clock that depends on the biological patterns of the body increases the chances of understanding the circadian rhythm. Brain wave patterns from various radiographic images assist you in knowing your limit of sleep and wake up. Therefore, ensure you are at bed when your time to sleep and wake up at the right time.
    1. Regulation of exposure to light during the day

    The need to regulate how you expose yourself to light is an essential component in acquiring good sleep at night. Morning sunlight is the best because it provides the required minerals for the development of your bones and other tissues.

    The process of sleep depends on the coordination of brain cells and neurons, and this requires you to have maximum exposure to light during the day. The introduction of light therapy boxes assists during different seasons like winter when bright illumination has limits.

    1. Physical fitness
      Involvement in regular physical fitness assists in the relaxation of body tissues and muscle. The relaxation reduces the production of energy, and this makes the body to have fewer functions. The exercise reduces the chances of encountering sleep apnea. However, you may be required to use sleep medication in conjunction with exercise. The medication recommended for sleep apnea is zopiclone. The drug influences the central nervous system to perform required activities along with exercise.However, heavy exercise may be dangerous as it causes contraction of muscle, making you uncomfortable. You should also ensure you exercise at least 3 hours before you go to bed to avoid oversleeping.

      1. Avoid substances

      Drugs alternate the normal functioning of the body system. Classification of substances depends on the health condition it brings. Nicotine and caffeine decrease the chances of releasing melatonin, which is the primary hormone responsible for sleep regulations. Cigarettes also play the role of hindering the production of this hormone.

      Besides, excess food before sleep should not be part of you.

      1. Good stress management strategy

      Stress is a psychological disorder that results in a lack of good sleep. The uprising of stress depends on what you encounter daily and how you handle them. It is wise to seek psychotherapist help if you cannot control stress. The sessions may make you have a relaxed mind that can facilitate an excellent sleeping mood.

      Continuous exercise may assist when you are under pressure and stress. It makes you relax your muscles, and this occurs within the brain, making you feel relieved. The bedtime ritual that assists in relaxing may be necessary.

       

      1. Regular deep breath The fundamental reason for a deep breath is to maintain a steady flow of oxygen in the body during sleep. The increase in oxygen uptake enables the blood to flow efficiently through your body to maintain the relaxation of the muscle.Closing your eyes and facing upwards when taking the breath, maximize blood flow in the brain, and this may make you feel better. Deep breath reduces gasping, snoring, and feeling foggy when you fall asleep.
        1. Suitable sleep environment Note the appropriate sleeping environment that keeps you safe and comfortable. Comfort is mandatory for you to sleep effectively without waking up in the middle of the night.The bedroom should have quality lighting system, air conditioners to regulate temperature and increasing air circulation. The nature of the mattress you are using should be of high quality to avoid issues of physical discomfort.Night sessions should have less light exposure. You should control the number of hours you spend watching television. Experts recommend that you should stay away from TV for about two hours before going to sleep. The period activates the melatonin hormone, which in turn triggers the relaxation of the body, and this causes sleep.

          Your phone should have software that blocks the excess light from reaching you.

          Conclusion

          Sleep is an essential activity for you to remain healthy. Lack of sleep can result in conditions that can cost you a lot when looking for appropriate medication. Insomnia can have the necessary prevention, and it is wise to use the points above. Remember, prevention is better than cure.

          This article, written by Rebecca Siggers  thus provides you with a list of places that you should focus upon traveling in your next holidays. To be able to travel with ease and reach your destination in the least possible time with comfort, always carry a world map along with you (amazon.fr/Carte-Monde-Gratter-Luxe-autocollants/dp/B077CWTKJY. The alluring qualities of the afore-said cities will make you want to travel several times over and over again in the years to come.

7 Exercises To Build Strength And Flexibility

Strength and flexibility are the hallmarks of pure fitness. It is why most athletes and fitness enthusiasts spend more time strength training and working out their muscles for better flexibility. While various exercises can help you achieve both, it is recommendable to incorporate other routines that target strength or flexibility. To achieve desirable results, you can choose the best strength training exercises that boost your flexibility as well. Here is a brief look at seven workout routines you can use to develop strength and enhance your flexibility.

  1. HIIT (high-intensity interval training)

According to studies, HIIT is one of the best workouts for strength and flexibility. A typical HIIT session can involve various maneuvers you have to complete within a given time. Short intervals between the different moves allow you to rest and reposition for the next. With HIIT, you can quickly increase your muscle endurance and power by accomplishing as many reps as possible in perfect form. It also grows more lean muscles, which translates to more glycogen and energy surplus in the body.

HIIT is also useful for improving your flexibility, especially since it involves performing a set of workouts in intervals. You can perform push-ups for 45 seconds, break for 15 seconds, then change to planks, squats, dips, pull-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and so forth. When you combine it with calisthenics, HIIT can push your flexibility to the next level.

  1. Stretches

The most convenient and traditional routine to achieve flexibility is through stretches. According to experts, it is a crucial aspect of training and should always be the first thing you do before you start other intense workout routines. Most people think about stretches concerning preventing gym injuries (pre-workout stretches) or improving recovery (post-workout stretches). However, stretching can help you gain agility and flexibility. It also boosts blood circulation to all the 600 muscle groups delivering essential micronutrients your body needs to grow big lean muscles. With more lean muscles comes the power and improvements in athletic performance.

  1. Weightlifting

People who can lift heavier weights have more power, and this comes from regular training. As you begin lifting weights, you will quickly get comfortable with the first weight and naturally add more. The heavier you can comfortably carry, the more power you build. However, there are various concerns when it comes to lifting weights. If you choose deadlifts, do not forget your double and single-leg deadlifts. Make sure you are building strength in your arms and biceps, as well as legs and thighs. You can also use weighted dips and pull-ups. Vary your routines and work out all your body muscles.

  1. Push-ups and dips

Daily push-ups and dips are a perfect combination for general fitness. In its perfect form, a press-up calls on almost all your body muscles, especially your core. It builds strength and power in your arms, chest, legs, and thighs. Dips also work out your upper body and core. When performing push-ups and dips in perfect form, you will quickly be able to lift and float your body around comfortably. There are various types of push-ups, including feet-elevated push-ups. In the same way, you can use weighted-dips. The variety of moves in these two extensive workouts can help you build both strength and flexibility.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is another efficient workout routine you can use to achieve both flexibility and strength. Swimming makes your muscles to increase in length and also allows you to develop an increased range of motion. Apart from boosting your flexibility, swimming also helps with muscle contraction, thus improving your overall strength.    

  1. Squats

There are a variety of squats you can do to achieve agility and power. Squats strengthen your flexibility by improving the range of motion your hips and ankles can cover. Variations like deep goblet squats can increase flexibility and help you build strength around your hamstring. Make sure you complete all squats in perfect form and switch your techniques for better results.

  1. Cycling and running

Running and cycling drills can help you shed more calories and build lean muscles. They are recommendable workouts that also boost your health, circulation, metabolism, and sleep. Cycling can also develop stronger thigh and leg muscles. However, it is crucial to do more stretches around your cycling and running sessions. Unless you are training for a marathon race, there is no need to run several miles. A daily morning running routine is sufficient to boost your strength and flexibility.

Conclusion

Various workouts can help you build strength and improve your flexibility. It is essential to understand all your moves and make sure you perform each exercise in perfect form. Some activities like stretches are critical before starting any other workout. Although regular workouts are effective, several other factors influence strength and flexibility. Emerging trends among athletes and fitness specialists involve using cannabis products like CBD oil to improve sleep and recovery. If you are in Canada, you can mail order such products from a reputable online dispensary Canada retailer and have it delivered to your preferred location. You also need proper nutrition, adequate rest, and sleep, as well as the right mindset. What’s more, it is recommendable to avoid drug abuse and other lifestyle habits that compromise your workout goals.

This article, written by Rebecca Siggers  thus provides you with a list of places that you should focus upon traveling in your next holidays. To be able to travel with ease and reach your destination in the least possible time with comfort, always carry a world map scratch along with you. The alluring qualities of the afore-said cities will make you want to travel several times over and over again in the years to come.

6 Ways To Optimize Your Plant-Based Diet For An Effective Workout

A small fraction of people become acquainted with vegetarian bodybuilders every day. Plant-based diets and Mediterranean food-forward eating habits also continue to flourish. The benefits of eating more plant-based foods have repeatedly surfaced in various discussions. Studies on Mediterranean diets also show great results. While they do not prohibit rare lean beef, fish, eggs, and dairy, the diet encourages plant-based food to account for 70% or even more. If you already prefer a plant-based diet, there are many ways you can optimize it to get the best results from your workout sessions. Here is a brief look at six methods:

  1. Know your pre-workout and post-workout food options

Regardless of the diet, you need pre-workout and post-workout meals to achieve optimal results from your workout. If you are on a plant-based diet, you need to know what foods will optimize your workout session. Focus on aspects such as strength and endurance, as well as aid recovery and rest. You can take a supplement like Turinabol to boost your workout performance. It helps in increasing muscle protein synthesis, hence giving us better recovery and muscle gains.

In the same way, you need to identify the right mix of ingredients necessary to boost energy, improve nutrient absorption and build more muscles. Plants are rich sources of proteins, but you should know the ones that deliver more proteins, carbs, essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among other primary classes.

 

  1. Set a workout goal and work around it 

Your workout is only as effective as its result. Therefore, you must have a goal in mind. If you are looking to grow bigger muscles, for instance, optimize reps for muscle gain and take the right nutrition for muscle growth. Integrate more legumes, nuts, leafy green smoothies, brown rice, whole-grain toast and high-carb fruits like bananas in your diet. You can break down your plan into pre-workout and post-workout foods. If your goal is weight-loss, you should focus on food such as fresh fruits, pasta, whole-grain oatmeal, and sweet potato. They provide you with more energy and fiber for better workout performance without causing you to gain calories.

  1. Use organic supplements

If you are choosing a plant-based diet, then it makes sense to get the best plant foods in terms of both quality and quantity. Start by ensuring all ingredients you use for your meals are fresh harvests and free of pesticides. When at the grocery, you can also look for a label that specifies the plant food as organic.

According to research, organic ingredients are much more rewarding to the body. Just like your food choices determine how healthy and fit you can get, the right growing conditions will impact the final food you eat. Organic foods grow in farms with less cadmium and pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Aside from meals, you can use organic supplements for vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. An effective workout requires a boost in vitamin, antioxidant nutrient intake as you will be working out muscles and tissues. Popular supplements include Vitamin B, D, and Zinc. You can also get organic beverages.

  1. Incorporate a diverse range of plant foods

Plants offer a wide variety of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They also provide several other micronutrients. Take vitamin E, for instance; you can get it from Crayfish, Rainbow trout, and goose meat and octopus. In the same way, several plant foods like Butternut, squash, broccoli contain vitamin E. To optimize your workout performance; you need to eat from a wide range of sources. This allows you to get more nutrients into your body through meal consumption rather than supplementation.

  1. Establish a supportive lifestyle  Healthy lifestyle habits can push your workout goals a notch further. Reducing the use of cigarettes and alcohol, drinking sufficient water, getting enough quality sleep and rest, avoiding stress and depression, all work together for your benefit. According to Quora, distributing your meals into 5 or six smaller portions rather than three large ones can optimize your metabolism, reduce hunger strike and provide consistent energy supply for your sessions. There are various other minor changes you can make to provide a solid foundation for your plant-based diet and fitness goals.
    1. Watch your calories

    It is very important to calculate your caloric intake and requirement. Once you know what you need, you can compare the best ingredients to integrate into your diet. Depending on your goals, you might need to cut down or bump up your calories. If you are working out to shed some pounds, you can still get essential nutrients from alternative plant foods that contain fewer calories. You can also find a calorie calculator or check the label of your store-purchased products to determine the calorie count. Keeping your calories in check is one of the most effective ways to optimize your workouts.

    Conclusion

    Plant-based diets are ideal for various fitness goals and healthy living. If you want to increase your workout performance, taking plant foods can help with energy supply, staying satisfied much longer and regulating your metabolism. Plants contain all the nutrients you require to survive. However, you need to pick quality ingredients that are both fresh and organic. You should also know what foods contain different essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. With this knowledge, you can blend your plant-based foods to provide the most nutritional value. Focus on your workout goals (muscle gain, strength, endurance, weight loss) and develop a favorable diet.


    Author of this article is Kimberly Clark
    who is a writer for numerous health and fitness publications. She has been working with many challenged clients for some time now. She can be reached via email at kimberly@linkingaces.biz.

     

     

     

     

     

How To Reduce Stress Through Exercise

How To Reduce Stress Through ExerciseDivorce is among one of the most stressful events that we can go through in our lives. It’s second only to the death of a loved one. However, if you ask around, you might hear that even death might be easier to deal with than a family that is torn apart over abuse or betrayal.

Besides divorce, we face stressful life situations day in and day out: maintaining hectic schedules, demands of work and family, the emotional needs of important people in our lives, financial stress, and self image are a few things that quickly come to mind.

One proven way to reduce the physical and emotional stress of a divorce is through regular physical activity. Pair this approach with talk therapy, self-improvement, and medication when appropriate and you have all the tools you need to heal and happily move on with your life.

The Proven Link Between Stress and Activity

Scientists have long since seen that having too little exercise can have a major negative impact on mood and mental health. One of the most common pieces of advice from any medical professional is to make sure you are getting some physical activity in everyday, whatever that activity might be.

As you move through the difficult stages of divorce, from the first filing to navigating a new world of dating and single parent life, keeping physically active is a natural way to help lower the stress levels that are impacting your body.

If you are finding yourself slipping into depression or being overwhelmed with stress, a simple and affordable solution to this problem is to make fitness unavoidably accessible. If the gym is a good social setting for you, grab a membership and get to work. If exercising at home suits you better, home gym equipment is an affordable way to stay on top of a fitness routine. Being realistic with your current state, your time restrictions, and other life factors, decide the best route for your physical activity and get on it!

How Exactly Does Physical Activity Alleviate Stress?

Physical activity produces more endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals of your brain that naturally elevate your mood. They make you happier, more cheerful and help to replace pain, both physical and emotional.

Physical activity takes your mind to a healthy place. Nothing is worse for stress than sitting and dwelling on a problem, replaying past scenarios or recent arguments, worrying about things out of your control, or whatever it might be. While feelings can’t be ignored, they should definitely take a back seat on a regular basis to make room for positive thoughts and growth. Exercise encourages focused thought and can even act as a form of meditation, removing the stressful thinking from the brain and helping you think about other things.

Physical activity increases self esteem. Stress plays a major part in the way we view ourselves. A “can’t-do” attitude is prevalent as we worry or doubt ourselves. This slippery slope is quick to move past the current issues at hand and bring to light other worries and doubts we’ve had about ourselves whether it be our appearance, our work ethic, our parenting, and more. As you increase your physical activity, you reach goals (confidence boost #1), increase physical and mental strength (confidence boost #2), and enhance your physical appearance (confidence boost #3). With these three motives for self-growth, self-esteem is bound to grow as well.

In the end, exercise is one of the best things for us. Especially when we are being bombarded with stress. Implement a regular schedule of “you” time to get your body moving, your endorphins flowing, your mind lightened, and you’ll work through those stressful issues at hand.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn

Wendi’s note:  Exercise Calculator – A helpful Tool That Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster  https://fitnessvolt.com/30723/calories-burned-by-exercises/

Surviving Stress: The Women’s Guide to Getting Through the Day-to-Day

Every woman knows the feeling: After countless days of work, eat, sleep, and little else, energy drops to an all-time low and sanity starts to waver. You question why you’re working so hard at all, and if any of it even matters. It’s all too easy to let the stresses of daily life get you down, but giving up isn’t the answer. What you need is to regain balance in your life so you can bring your best to each and every day. Here’s how.

Manage Stress at Work

Even if you love your job, spending 40-plus hours a week at work can wear on you. Whether it’s an overly-demanding boss, inefficient coworkers, or just the mundanity of the same thing day in and day out, a full-time job is bound to get to you. When it does, you’ll need strategies to cope.

When it comes to stress management, the best offense is a good defense, so make sure you’re practicing good sleep and diet habits and working exercise into your schedule. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best defenses against stress and its cousins, depression and anxiety.

To ensure enough time to take care of your personal needs, set professional boundaries with an eye on work-life balance. Don’t make a habit of working overtime. If your boss gives you a project with an unrealistic deadline, negotiate the timeline rather than scrambling to get it done. Colleagues constantly interrupting your lunch break with work requests? Start leaving the building during lunch so you can use that hour to relax.

When you walk out of the office at the end of the day, turn work off. No matter how strong the temptation, don’t check your email or squeeze in “just one more hour” of work. Avoid venting about work as much as possible, and when you just have to, stick to a hard limit of 20 minutes. The last thing you want is for your workplace stresses to seep into your home life.

Practice Self-Care

Women today are expected to do it all — have a successful career, a loving relationship, happy children, and a Pinterest-worthy home — but living up to those unrealistic standards can leave little time for actually being happy. Try to focus less on outward appearances and more on taking care of your own needs.

What does that look like? For starters, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep each night and eating healthy meals. Eating well both preserves your health long-term and keeps you happier and more energetic now. In fact, good nutrition has been linked to better health outcomes in everything from cardiovascular health to mental health.

But self-care is about more than meeting your basic needs. It’s about building a rich personal life that brings you joy and fulfillment. That means making time for hobbies, cultivating new interests, spending time with the people you care about, and practicing gratitude every day.

Bond with Your Pet

Pets take care of us in more ways than we give them credit for. In fact, the simple act of being in the presence of a furry friend has emotional benefits. Spending quality time with your pet can be an instant mood-booster and can help stabilize your stress over the long-term.

If you don’t currently share your home with a critter, consider adopting one from your local shelter. Saving the life of an animal in need will instantly lift your spirits every time you see your new family member. If adopting isn’t an option, you can enjoy the emotional perks of spending time with animals by offering to help with friends’ pets, such as by dog boarding in your home or even dog walking.

Nurture Your Relationships

When everything is going wrong at work and life is a mess, it’s friends and loved ones that can lift you up and get you back on your feet. That’s why no matter how busy life gets, it’s critical to always nurture your personal relationships.

Social relationships are so important that they actually help us stay happier and live longer. To make sure you sustain this pillar of wellness, carve out time every week to connect with your friends, family, and romantic partners. Whether it’s a Saturday barbecue or a quick phone call, making time for relationships helps them grow stronger.

Of course, personal relationships aren’t without their own stresses. Whether it’s a boyfriend or a best friend, work through your relationship issues respectfully and lovingly. Arguments come and go, but when you treat them right, good people stay by your side for a lifetime.

Life can be overwhelming at times, but when you take care of yourself and prioritize your needs, you can get through whatever the day throws at you. Try implementing these tips in your daily life as part of your journey to a less stressful, more centered life.

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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.  

How to Ward off Loneliness During Divorce

One can feel lonely when going through the divorce process. You have lost your live-in companion and may be by yourself for the first time in your life. Some go from their parents’ house – to uni – to the marital home. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed doing all the tasks that used to be split up between the both of you. There is less time to be with friends. The divorce process itself is time consuming and can leave one feeling drained.

It is essential to stay in touch with friends during divorce to ward off feelings of loneliness. A quick cup of coffee with a pal is an energy booster and provides an opportunity to vent. Holding onto a grudge or hostile feelings can impact one’s well-being. Just as you schedule events into your agenda – do so for pleasurable activities. One can be among others, yet not have to interact if that is an issue. Go to a film or play so you are around people. Many tote their lap tops to coffee shops and do their own thing while not being isolated.

Ways to Ward off  Loneliness

 

  • A great way to feel connected to people is through volunteering. Not only is one helping others who appreciate it (humans or animals) but it can boost self-worth which may have taken a hit during a turbulent marriage. You also meet and connect with other volunteers. I enjoy the camaraderie of being with other church members when serving refreshments after Mass.
  • Consider joining groups for fun, fitness or mental stimulation. MeetUp.com is global with many special interest groups, including divorce ones. Join a book or running club to enjoy an activity with like-minded people.
  • Go to festivals – one is in the midst of others and can have some nice conversations. One can enjoy great food at large communal tables. The ethnic ones have a lively atmosphere and singles are welcome.
  • Churches have community events. A nearby Orthodox one has homemade international lunches several times a year. I like going to an Anglican one for the Macmillan Coffee mornings and have met some wonderful people. Catholic ones have fish and chips dinners during Lent. My divorced friend met her next husband at a singles group at her church.
  • Some divorcing people adopted pets for company. Nurturing someone else took the focus off their problems. Get the right one. One co-worker adopted a darling pig during her divorce which she sometimes brought to work. She was told that Ms. Piggy was a small breed. Well she was not, and grew very portly in size. Ms. Piggy is now living on a farm and my co-worker has visiting rights.
  • If you do not have children – borrow someone else’s for the day. Their laughter is contagious. Nephews, nieces or little neighbours would love an outing to the zoo, park or carnival. Being around these youngsters can help you forget about your divorce for a few hours.

 

Feeling Isolated

There is a difference between feeling isolated vs lonely. Merriam Webster dictionary defines isolation as being “set apart” and this may mean geographically. While married, we lived in a house with a lovely view a bit out of town in the foothills. In the midst of divorce, I felt very isolated from other people. There was no public transport and going places necessitated a car ride. I bought a small house in town during divorce and that feeling of isolation evaporated. Others have married someone and moved to a new location and feel isolated when getting a divorce. If feasible, see if relocating would be beneficial to feel more connected to people, such as family. Determining the reason why one feels cut off is the way to fix isolation.

Reach out to others when feeling lonely. Loneliness is defined as “being without company.” Talk to neighbours, the barista at your coffee shop or other encounters. I have had some of my best conversations with individuals who were sharing my park bench. Start a new hobby or take a class to beat the Loneliness Blues.

My article was originally published on the web site of Paradigm Family Law   www.paradigmfamilylaw.co.uk/

Paradigm Family Law is a niche practice specialising in divorce and family law advice run by matrimonial experts James Thornton and Frank Arndt.  They have over 30 years experience in the field, and provide specialist legal advice for divorce and family matters including international disputes.  The fees are fixed, enabling you to budget with certainty and security and without the stress of unknown increased costs in the future as your case progresses.

Becoming More Confidant After Divorce

Getting a divorce can affect one’s self confidence. One may have to get a job, move to a different locale or meet new people. A lot is thrown at you at once. Divorce does not define who you are, but is a word indicating your marital status. Being divorced is just a part of one’s multi-faceted being. There are ways to boost one’s confidence which leads to a more fulfilling life.

SELF-INVENTORY

The first step for gaining more confidence is to do a self-inventory. In what areas do you feel overwhelmed and could use improving? Think about where you excel, such as on the job, with some relationships, or in your hobbies. Your talents and abilities, may have brought accolades, such as when winning local tournaments for a sport. A person may have a magnificent voice which is central to their choir. One may be surprised at how many areas of confidence outweigh what scares them. People sometimes focus on the negatives instead of the positives and feel that they lack confidence in general, rather than in a few specific aspects of their lives.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Learning new skills, material and strategies is the way to fix the areas that are weak and lacking in confidence. Building confidence is like building up a muscle when lifting weights – it benefits the whole person and not just one part. Take a computer class if feeling wobbly about IT on the job. Some scientific   guys have confided they feel awkward trying to make small talk. Small talk is a way to connect with others and is important socially as well as at work. Joining groups with a purpose, such as hiking, photography, chess, books and so forth make discussing the subject at hand easy, which then leads to other conversations. The trick is to get help for what is draining one’s confidence.

Rewards do work. I had a phobia for public speaking and as an author, I knew interviews and doing workshops were inevitable. I joined Toastmasters International to help get over this fear and increase my confidence. However, I paired Toastmasters meetings with getting together afterwards at a coffee shop with friends. Eventually my brain linked going to Toastmasters with treats. I no longer feel the need for lattes afterwards and found I really enjoy speaking in front of others and doing radio interviews. Pick a treat to motivate you to go to a class or do something out of your comfort zone.  Please read more  www.divorcemag.com/blog/5-ways-to-build-confidence-after-divorce

Finding Meaning in Life Post-Divorce

Divorce shakes one’s foundation, so doing some rebuilding of one’s life afterwards is a must. What seemed important when married such as extended shopping sprees, may be viewed as trivial now. Let divorce be the catalyst to shift priorities in order to have a more rewarding life. One can feel like they are drifting along and every day is the same. How to get your groove back after divorce? The secret is to discover what is meaningful to you and gives you a sense of purpose in this world.

Leo Tolstoy said “The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.” Volunteering is a great way to connect with others, while getting so much more back. Volunteering counteracts misconceptions of feeling worthless, powerless or weak which can be by products of a toxic marriage. Seeing tangible results of how you make a difference in the world is what gives meaning to your existence. I volunteer weekly for a cat rescue organization and the kitties’ purrs and affection just make my day. Other divorced friends help out at soup kitchens, delivering meals to homebound elderly, or use professional skills such as accounting. This is what ignites the spark in our lives. Think about what your interests are and find a position in one of those areas. In the public schools – we have executives who tutor youngsters over their lunch hours. The staff tells them that this is their most important job and these high powered individuals readily agree. The Dalai Lama stated “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.”

Reaching out and strengthening connections increases life satisfaction. There are all kinds of studies which show that having bonds to people increases longevity and contributes to better health. Rekindle old friendships which may have slipped away when married. Spend more time with family and be an involved aunt. Childhood is fleeting and your children grow up quickly. Give them undivided attention with your devices switched off and really listen. Plan fun outings and special pizza nights at home. I expanded my social network and feel more content. I am closer to my college pals post-divorce and this creates more pleasure in my life.

Discover what kick starts your passion and go for it. For us it is going on global journeys. We live frugally and diligently save cash to reach our goal, which is a good life lesson in itself. My sons and I become closer without the distractions of being at home. It is possible to travel to far flung places on a limited budget. For others it is dusting off an instrument, painting, hiking, treks in exotic places and so forth. Engaging in your passions is what quality of life is all about. This includes following your dreams.

Experiences give richness to our lives much more than another handbag or the latest gadget. It is the memories of visiting your grandparents’ farm or summer trips to an amusement park that are meaningful, not some item which was broken eons ago. Instead of buying things for the quick fix of feeling better, consider which experiences will give long lasting joy.   Please read more   divorcedmoms.com/articles/suddenly-single-and-seeking-purpose

 

Playing the Victim in Divorce

Many people go through divorce playing the role of the victim and are oblivious to their part in the end of the marriage. Casting oneself as the victim in this drama is putting the blame onto their spouse. Blaming their spouse for what went wrong relieves them of any responsibility for a failed marriage. These people may go through life being the victim in other settings, such as on the job. One older man blamed his two ex-wives for his divorces and reduced finances. He was bitter and said his life was miserable because of them, even years after they had left him. A former friend of mine kept talking about her divorce and how she was wronged by her spouse. It was all his fault. On the job her boss supposedly was out to get her and she claimed to be the victim of co-workers’ jealousy. This got old and we eventually parted ways.

Some seem to be comfortable in the role of victim and derive satisfaction from it. They may take centre stage when telling tales of their divorce. It is like they are a leaf on the water, floating wherever the river takes them. This fatalistic view has them drifting along and not exerting energy to make changes. Getting out of victim mentality requires introspection and a willingness to see both sides of issues. Feeling like a victim can impact divorce proceedings. The situation will not be viewed realistically and the person may too passive. They may not be receptive to a fair distribution of assets if they interpret the divorce is 100% the other spouse’s doing.

What some solicitors and mediators do in this circumstance is mandate both spouses have at least one session with a life or divorce coach. The victim can have a reality check and get help with viewing the divorce from a different perspective. The spouse being blamed can get some support and strategies to deal with their soon to be ex.

Empowerment is the opposite of being a victim.

This is taking control of one’s life and doing the necessary actions to stay on course. Knowledge is a part of empowerment, whether it is learning about divorce law or emotionally supporting oneself. It is taking an active role in the divorce process and seeking advice on the most advantageous spit of assets. Empowerment is taking classes to keep current in one’s career for better financial footing post-divorce. Empowerment is discovering strengths and talents in order to feel good and be fulfilled.

Avoid feeling like a victim by taking responsibility for your life. This is taking charge of yourself. When a person admits their mistakes, they learn from them and can move one. Get out of childhood patterns of behaviour such as feeling you are a victim with the world out to get you. Break free from the past to ensure healthy relationships in the present. You are in the driver’s seat for your life, and not a passenger going along for the ride. If repeating old ways of interactions, consider seeking professional guidance to learn how to communicate more effectively.

Does feeling like a victim bring happiness? No. It is vacillating between being helpless and angry. The victim mentality can lead to depression when one feels powerless.

Please read more  www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/victim-in-divorce/

 

How to be Empowered in Divorce

Being empowered in divorce is the opposite from viewing oneself as a victim. It is the difference from being in a place of strength to feeling out of control during and post-divorce. Assess what you can control and what is out of your hands. You may be surprised that you really do have more input in your proceedings and can take a more active role. Speak to your solicitor or mediator about what you want to get out of the divorce, preferably also in writing for their future reference. I know a few acquaintances that felt helpless and just went with the flow, instead of being assertive. They are kicking themselves now post-divorce.

Empower yourself with knowledge. A great site that answers many divorce questions is www.gov.uk and gives a glimpse of what to expect. Look up on calculate-your-child-maintenance the calculator which indicates what to expect for child maintenance in your situation. In the US, each state has an online calculator to get an idea of what alimony or child support may be in your situation. Knowing what to anticipate ahead of time lets you think about Plan B. If you will be the receiver, and the amount seems too low, have a list ready of what else could be thrown in – sports, camp fees or other activities to be included as child support. If you are the payer, offer more in spousal maintenance which is a tax break for you, and less in child maintenance, which is not. Being empowered is having an idea what you are up against in divorce and forming plans on how to deal with it.

One fellow who survived an acrimonious divorce suggests having a “victory garden.” Grow some vegetables – even in containers- to show the children that you are self-sufficient. Putting food on the table that you grew is another way to feel empowered. The added bonus is nurturing living things takes the focus off your problems and on to what is thriving in your care.

Uncertain financial footing can put someone in a tail spin.  One woman took her personal items, engagement ring, and family heirlooms to a business who sells goods online. She did this after her husband walked out and before she had hired a solicitor. She felt empowered going into the divorce, since cash would be coming soon.

Some solicitors advise their clients to get a job during divorce so that they feel more in control. Not only does this boost their self-esteem, but enables them to feel more secure during the proceedings when they know they have earning power. Think about what your talents are and in what areas you excel.  Please read more…  www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/empowerment-in-divorce/

Dealing with Past Regrets

It is easy to fall into the trap of living in regrets. One may regret the distribution of assets in divorce. Another cannot seem to get through a week without saying, “If only I had…” My two sons are pragmatic, and calmly state, “Well that’s in the past – get over it!” when I rue that I did not buy a lifetime pass to United’s Red Carpet Lounge. I did not realize that it was a one-time opportunity, and I had put it off. When asking people about any regrets, the overwhelming answer was what that they regret what they did not do, rather than what they did. It was actions or possibilities not taken, not what they did or had said. Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy” stated, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things that I haven’t done.”

I used to be a trauma nurse in a busy surgical intensive care unit. Some patients who felt death was knocking on the door were willing to talk about their past. All were calm and ready to go, but had a common theme about their lives. The universal comment was letting opportunities pass them by or being too afraid to take chances. It was not about what they had done (with the exception of working too many hours and missing out on family life), but instead what they hadn’t done. That regret shaped my attitude of spending as much time possible with my sons. A regret can be a wake-up call that something needs to be changed. It can be a positive stimulus to make an adjustment in your life, such as embarking on a new career path that holds more meaning and passion for you. If you are regretting some life choices, then let this propel you in a new direction. My mother’s only regrets on her deathbed were not getting to Provence, and procrastinating on taking a desired tour to Turkey. That regret pushed me into taking my sons to far flung places so I would not have her same disappointment down the road. I am not putting off travel, and instead am ticking off places from my Bucket List.  – See more at: www.divorcemag.com/blog/regrets-in-divorce-and-life#sthash.OxeBUzrp.dpuf

Get Rid of Guilt in Divorce and Life

We may live in guilt for what we did or did not do while still married. We might think we could have tried harder to salvage the marriage or feel guilt over not putting it out of its misery earlier. Let the feeling of guilt be a wakeup call that something needs to be changed and use it as an indicator to embark on another course of action. One cannot go back into the past like Dr Who, so being stuck in guilt is a blockade to having a fulfilling life now.

One young man is an example of this and feels guilty that he did not try harder and undergo marital counselling before calling it quits. Guilt is holding him back from committing to his new partner. On a positive note, guilt is pushing him into having a strong relationship with his former spouse as a co-parent. His two children are reaping the benefits of having two parents on the same team.

Sometimes guilt is dumped upon someone although it is their choice whether or not to accept it. Several women said their husbands married them mainly for their looks. After a baby or two, they gained weight and a few wrinkles. At first they felt guilty when spouses insinuated that they were breaking a deal (to look good). After their divorces, they are comfortable with their bodies and increased their self-esteem.

During my hypnotherapy training, our New Age instructor said that the Catholics got it right regarding guilt. They make mistakes (sins), report them (confess) and do reparations (say a Hail Mary or two). They wipe the slate clean and go on their way. He challenged us to come up with our own rituals to banish guilt. First acknowledge its presence and determine what it is telling us. Perhaps we are chronically snapping at the kids or have been ignoring elderly family members. Make amends. Apologize to the youngsters and explain that you are feeling overwhelmed. Then add some fun activities into your schedule with them. Visit or at least call relatives who may be feeling left out of your busy life.

Whatever is troubling you, face it, deal with it and move on. The secret is not to wallow in guilt but view it as a messenger to approach life or people in a different way. Someone may be punishing themselves over guilt when other people did not feel that they were mistreated at all. We can be hard on ourselves and our worst enemy. One friend felt guilty that she did not spend more time with her mother before her death from breast cancer. She was caught up in her wedding plans which her mother understood, and was fine with the situation. My friend was able to let go of this guilt by becoming a mostly stay-at-home mum, cherishing family togetherness.

If you have chronic guilt, consider discussing this with someone. When I am on a guilt trip, my friends set me straight and I readjust my outlook. Guilt keeps one partly living in the past, so apologize, make extra donations to charity, anything to release guilt and move on.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  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

How to Keep Your Sanity When Getting Divorced

There are ways to get through the divorce process in an easier manner. Allow yourself to fully feel and express your emotions. Keeping a “stiff upper lip” or bottling up angry feelings prolongs getting over an issue or risks an explosion in the courtroom.  I would scream in the car when driving on an isolated stretch of road, saying what was happening was not fair. I was quite calm when arriving home afterwards. One divorcing person stated: “Honestly, in my darkest moments, the only thing that helps me is laying on the floor in front of my altar and allowing myself to cry for as long as I need to.  In these times, the pain is so intense that I can barely move.  And because I’m in that state, I am able surrender to it (because there is nothing else I can do!) and surrender to God…knowing that eventually the pain will shift.  And knowing (reminding myself) that the pain will shift, helps me tremendously.  Every single time I think “this pain is too great…I cannot survive….” I am proven wrong.  It DOES shift.  The waves of emotion come and go.  Knowing that has helped me every single day!”

Shari’s husband had an affair which led to their divorce and has this advice: “Consciously breathing into my heart helps me tremendously. It’s about going into the feeling/emotion and sticking with it….knowing that only I can shift it, only I can ultimately heal myself.  Being willing…not looking to the outside…recognizing that LOVE is always there deep inside me.  Imagining my teacher, Amma, holding me is soothing.  (My real mother did not do this for me).  Using the imagination and visualization process helps me feel the deep LOVE that is ultimately me.  (I can go into fear quite easily but visualizing being in Amma’s arms helps me align with LOVE instead).”  Centering herself with deep breathing now helps Shari face whatever is in her path.

– See more at: www.divorcemag.com/blog/ways-to-get-through-divorce-with-sanity-intact#sthash.gdCkCuTG.AXL91fA9.dpuf

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

Mindfulness in Divorce

A way to keep one’s sanity in the divorce process is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is mainstream and not in the sole domain of gurus. It not a New Age thing, but has been done for over a millennium, especially in Buddhism. Mindfulness is about being focused on the happy activity you are doing with the kids and casting worries aside. It is experiencing and being fully in the moment, whether strolling the cobbled stone streets of Tuscany or baking brownies with a child.  Mindfulness is being engaged in an endeavor without being on autopilot because your thoughts are elsewhere.

Mindfulness is useful in divorce. When concentrating on the divorce session, one is able to take in the information, process it, and make rational decisions. Being immersed in the present lessens fear based reactions of when one’s mind is drifting into worst case scenarios.  Staying focused in the moment allows one to clarify confusing points, ask pertinent questions and not make decisions in haste. This is keeping the mind from being scattered. When thoughts are veering off into many directions it is easier to miss some key points in the proceedings.

Mindfulness is looking at the here and now and not dwelling in the past which cannot be changed. The what ifs, such as “What if I had only…..” is detrimental and not going to alter your current circumstance. Mentally living in the distant future also causes one to miss out on life now. When I was in a toxic marriage, I was dreaming about being on my own after my last child graduated from high school. Instead of doing something about my marriage (fix it or divorce sooner), I was not fully present, enjoying every moment of my sons’ childhoods. It is fine to have goals and direction, but not to be on a permanent vacation from what is happening today.

Mindfulness in Divorce

Balancing Work and Family Life as a Single Parent

It is possible to keep one’s sanity and sense of humor, yet still be a single parent in the workforce. The trick is to be extra organized and do as much as possible when the kids are with the co-parent. It is challenging stepping back into a career when being a stay-at-home mom, or changing to full-time. These tips make life a bit easier.

  1. Work more during visitation. I went to my father’s every other weekend and my nurse mother worked at a hospital during that time. She also picked up extra shifts for the two weeks that I was on vacation with my father and at camp. Another woman worked 8-3 without a formal lunch break. She then went into the office for five hours every Saturday while the kids were at visitation. Since the office was closed, it was peaceful enabling her to get ahead with work. See if you can build flexibility into your job. A dad might work extra on the weekend that he is not with the kids.
  2. Make a huge quantity of lasagne or another dish, and freeze single portions (your work lunches) and family size ones. When you are tired – reheat with a prepared salad. Do a cooking marathon when the kids are at visitation. I buy organic, but yummy prepared meals to give to hungry fellows in a hurry. My sons like Trader Joe’s pot pies and their frozen meat which is quick to cook.
  3. Team up with other single parents to have potlucks or share some tasks. Three moms decided to rotate cooking evening meals, each doing one night a week. One cooks enough for the other two families and packs up the complete meals into containers. They are delivered to those houses nearby and for the next two evenings, she is off the hook for providing dinner. These three have been doing this arrangement for years and treasure those blissful cooking-free nights.
  4. Nurture yourself. If you are frazzled, then you are less able to give your full attention to the kids. Pop in for a pedicure or an occasional facial. Indulge in high end, but low cost organic plant based skin care, such as Boot’s Botanic line. My skin is smooth and I feel heavenly. Sitting on the couch reading a magazine with a cat on my lap is so relaxing. Do what rejuvenates you. Some divorced dads got back into sports and enjoy the camaraderie as well as increasing physical well-being.    Please read more …  divorcedmoms.com/articles/balancing-single-parenting-and-work-10-tips-for-the-overwhelmed

Anger Keeps You Attached to your Ex

Anger is another way to keep you attached to your ex after divorce. Here are reasons to sever the anger tie that keeps you bound to your ex.

1. Anger can shrink rather than expand your social network. One divorced woman I know was perpetually angry with her ex and his truly awful family. Instead of being pleased that she got out of that mess, got her Master’s degree, and an exciting job, Penny kept harping on her ex. She endlessly kept going back to that subject, even though her friends lost patience eons ago. She drove pals away when they responded “enough is enough” and Penny refused to listen. Anger can turn a friendship from give and take to just being a sounding board for someone’s misery.

2.  Anger is energy that is spent thinking about your ex or plotting various ways of his demise. It may be a two way street with your anger fuelling his, with retaliation. Anger robs people of time and energy that can be used in a more constructive manner. If you are neutral about someone, such as a co-worker or neighbor, there is no specific tie to them. You interact with them, but then go on you merry way about your own business. Anger is a strong emotion – no take it or leave it attitude. Do you really want this attachment to your ex?

3. Anger builds a wall around people. it is like wearing a “No Trespassing” sign around your neck – stay away. One woman who was bitter post-divorce would yell at her daughter over trivial things. Anger towards her ex splashed over into most areas of her life. The girl did not have much of a relationship with her mother until after college when they were more like friends. Be careful that anger is not endangering your relationships with your children and friends.

Please read more… divorcedmoms.com/articles/5-reasons-anger-keeps-you-attached-to-your-ex

Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem After Divorce

One’s self-esteem can take a beating during marriage, particularly if wed to a spouse with a personality disorder. Some may find it difficult to trust again or not feel confident about decisions. Without a higher self-esteem as a buffer, we feel life’s hurts more acutely. First recognize that your self-esteem has dipped and seek ways to get back on course. Tips on boosting one’s self-esteem:

  1. Surround yourself with supportive and nurturing friends. This is not the time to deal with competitive or catty acquaintances. Take a break from people who are not your cheerleaders. If you have a few negative relatives who find fault, take a breather from them. Just say, ‘’I have a lot on my plate and will get back to you when my life is calmer.’’ You are not pointing a finger at anyone’s meanness, just stepping back to regroup and feel better about yourself.
  2. The key to boosting self-esteem is to follow your strengths to success. Kick-start your self-esteem by perfecting a talent. Karri had an acrimonious divorce and her self-esteem had plummeted. She had enjoyed dabbling in painting as a youngster and decided to give it a go again. Now her paintings hang in galleries across her state and she has a line of cards showcasing her artwork. I felt devalued during my marriage and put aside my love of writing. Post-divorce, my book got published and I am thrilled with my new career. Write down your strengths and talents. If you feel stuck, get some honest feedback from friends who will help get you thinking in a new direction. A life coach can be invaluable in exploring this area with you.
  3. Push yourself to accomplish new endeavors. This may be training and completing a marathon, or joining a choir. When self-esteem is low, doing something one did not think was possible gives a sense of achievement. Reaching new goals amps up a low self-esteem. Connie was divorced and decided to get out of her comfort zone and do a jungle trek through the interior of Bali. She was renewed and since then has completed more challenging physical feats. Other women have opted to take part in charity treks and bike rides globally to raise funds for various charities. The camaraderie and life changing experiences have increased their self-worth and esteem post-divorce. divorcedmoms.com/articles/7-simple-ways-to-boost-your-selfesteem-after-divorce

 

Anger Post-Divorce

It is natural to be angry at what comes up during the divorce process, but the trick is not dwelling in this place and learning how to cope with divorce anger. Recognize this feeling of fury and admit you have it as a response to what nasty actions your spouse may be doing. It is how you deal with this anger that can impact your health and your children’s well-being.

If we live our lives motivated by anger and hatred, even our physical health deteriorates.   The Dalai Lama

A study at Ohio State University rated people on how well they could control their anger. It did not matter if anger was expressed openly or internalized because the results were the same. Blisters were formed by suction cups on the participants. Those that experienced more anger had higher levels of Cortisol (stress hormone) which prolonged the healing of their blisters over the more easy going folks. Much research has shown the correlation between anger and increased blood pressure plus other cardiovascular events. Is carrying a grudge against your ex worth this health risk?

One way to deal with rage is to write a detailed letter to your ex-spouse naming hurtful acts and how she did you wrong. Don’t mail it, but burn it for closure. When our aunt cut us out of her life after my divorce, she sided with my ex.

My son was hurt by this action and wrote a letter to her expressing that “blood is thicker than water.” He outlined the abuse that he had received from his father and spilled out his disappointment in her. Then he tore this letter into tiny bits. A burden was lifted and his pent up anger had evaporated. This exercise works for mean co-workers and any other people who annoy you, but destroy the letter afterwards.

Take responsibility for your part in the demise of your marriage. Even if your spouse is Satan’s daughter, both parties contributed to the divorce. By doing this, it is easier to gain clarity and not repeat similar actions again in future relationships.

Forgiving yourself first is the step before forgiving others. Realizing that I make mistakes too, makes it is easier for me to get over my anger and forgive my ex. All humans make mistakes, it is the magnitude of these errors that is different.

When anger is allowed to escalate that equals longer litigation and greater fees for both solicitors. No one is saying that one’s anger is not justified, just decisions made during divorce in that state can be more vindictive than rational. Post-divorce interactions can be more volatile in an irate state, making an explosion more likely.

Anger is a stage in the grief process which may surface during divorce or right afterwards. When one is prepared for the various stages, it makes getting through these a bit smoother. Parties do not start divorce in the same place, so usually hit the anger stage at different times. The person initiating the divorce often has resolved some of the anger issues which are now confronting the other party.

The interim child psychologist in my divorce said that her job is easier when both parents are on the same part of the anger continuum. She said that my very irate spouse was at one end of the angry continuum and I was at the other end, practically viewing my imminent divorce “In the rear view mirror.” I was almost gleeful at that point of the divorce.

Take a time out to process anger. Anger does not dissipate overnight. Give yourself extra nurturing and rely on your social support system to get you through this angry stage.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Wisdom Gained in Divorce

Divorce can be a horrific event to experience or can be the greatest life teacher. While no one I interviewed enjoyed it, many stated that they gained such wisdom from it. As with other transitions, divorce can be a catalyst for a major life change or new career path. Some felt as if they were merely drifting through life and their divorce came as a big wake up call.

Inner strengths

The overwhelming response to my interviews was that people discovered inner strength. Some felt like they would fall apart or have “A nervous breakdown” during divorce proceedings. Post-divorce they are much stronger people. Hidden skills, talents and positive character traits emerged during this calmer period. One woman retrained as florist and opened her own shop. Another women did not learn until her divorce that she is a world class mother. She is proud that she nurtures and passes along her newly found strength to her children.

Patience was another life lesson. Several quoted “This too shall pass” and continue saying it post-divorce when irritations and problems crop up with their exes. Instead of exploding or shutting down, as was done in the past, they face complications more calmly with patience. Ironically, when dealing with someone patiently, the situation is less likely to escalate. It takes two to Tango and two to fight.

Resilience. Some echoed my sentiments, “If I can make it through this divorce, I can make it through anything else that life throws at me.” Instead of feeling like a victim, some are now thriving. When my finances take a nose dive or my ex decides periodically to stop alimony early, I am confident that I will get through these disasters okay. Some reiterated that learning to manage their finances had an impact of being in control of all areas of their lives.

Annette said that divorce gave her the opportunity to learn how to forgive. She has forgiven her ex in order to move on and was surprised how useful forgiveness is in other situations too. When co-workers are catty or family members inconsiderate, she does not dwell on this. Annette does not agree with these actions, but forgives people so she keeps looking forward and not backwards.

Others contemplated their spirituality and turned to their faith or a Higher Power to get through divorce proceedings. Post-divorce, they get their spiritual “batteries” recharged on a regular basis.

Others felt inclined to learn imperative life skills, such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness. They have mentioned how invaluable these are to their lives today. Several became a yoga instructor, Nia teacher, massage therapist and cosmetologist and in other disciplines that were useful to them in this traumatic situation. Now they help so many others while enjoying the well-being from these new careers.

Independence. Being able to make one’s own decisions is liberating and some expressed that they did not realize how oppressed they were while still married. One woman was told by her spouse that visitors (including family) were severely restricted and had to leave by 7:30 pm. She was exhilarated post-divorce to entertain on her own schedule. A few told me as soon as their spouse moved out during the divorce they redecorated or rearranged their bedrooms. Sometimes when we are trying to hang onto a marriage, our preferences go out the door to keep the peace.

Going through an especially dark period enables one to appreciate relationships on a deeper level. Friendships that were taken for granted can blossom. Family members that were supportive are valuable allies when post-divorce complications arise. Many joined groups and expanded their social networks which upped their happiness on a long term basis. Showing compassion for others, such as through volunteering, lessened the focus from them during divorce and enabled these folks to feel better in this turbulent time. Be open to the wisdom and life lessons learned as a result of divorce.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Growth During Marriage

Sometimes people discover new talents and career paths during  marriages that lead to self-fulfillment. This can be challenging for one’s spouse who may resist this change and can lead to divorce. Others’ spouses are thrilled to witness this metamorphosis and be an observer on this journey. A lot depends upon the partner and if the change seems threatening or unbalancing to them.

Carla was a secretary in a large hospital and enjoyed the atmosphere. She had a  desire to be a nurse which grew stronger as time marched on. When her daughters became teenagers, she decided to take the plunge and go back to school to fulfil this dream. Her husband became more discontent when supper was not on the table by 6 pm and there were other changes to his routine. The girls were proud of their mother and did not require much of her hands on time, like her husband felt he should have. The marriage limped on until Carla filed for divorce once the youngest was almost through with college. Carla was so happy with her career change and the salary increase was helpful post-divorce.

Carla’s example is not the only time where a divorce happened when there was a career change. In a similar case, a women went back to school when there were children at home and her husband refused to pitch in and help. That marriage too ended in divorce. The people that I spoke with that had life changes during marriage and divorced, had very traditional male and female roles. The husband took care of the outside, including vehicle maintenance and the women did child care and “inside”  work. When the roles were suddenly altered then there were hard feelings on both sides. When the roles were more fluid, these were the marriages that I saw adjusted and even thrived when changes occurred.

There are plenty of stories in magazines such as “Women and Home” and “Good Housekeeping UK”  where women started businesses and their husbands not only kept the home fires burning but gave assistance with the new enterprise. A lot depends upon if the spouses are rigid or can bend with the winds of change on how the  marriage will weather.

Gaining Self-Awareness Post-Divorce Before Dating Again

Before jumping back into the dating pool post-divorce, get a clear sense of self. Knowing your values and who you are is paramount for personal growth. It does not make sense getting to know another individual if one is confused about their own desires, needs and interests. Take a break after your divorce for personal introspection. Rediscover your passions & dreams first.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert felt trapped in her Suburban marriage, but was not sure what she wanted out of life. She was cognizant of what she did not care to repeat. Ms. Gilbert went on a yearlong quest to discover herself in the book “Eat, Pray, Love.”  She challenged herself by learning Italian, living on her own in a foreign country, and having new experiences. Next on the agenda was spending time in India for an inner journey of meditation and self-reflection. Ms. Gilbert faced her problems, accepted her part in the marriage’s demise and obtained wisdom. Gaining clarity in Bali boosted her self-esteem and opened her eyes to what she was seeking in a future relationship. With this self-exploration behind her, Ms. Gilbert was ready to recognize a stellar man with values that aligned with hers. She finally moved on with her life and they later got married.

Learn to recognize your problems so you do not carry them into the next relationship. Take an inventory of yourself and see what mistakes have turned into valuable life lessons. Discover your strengths and weaknesses to challenge yourself.  One divorced woman who had been fearful and clingy in her marriage, took a trip to Europe by herself. It got her out of her comfort zone and was life changing. Serena is now independent and self-sufficient, claiming she does not need a partner in order to survive life.

Your answers to these questions can lead to greater self-awareness before dating again:

  • what adds meaning to your life and brings you joy.
  • Could your hobbies and interests lead to a new life path that increases your fulfilment?
  • Did you live up to your potential in your marriage or is it beneficial to explore different areas of opportunity now?
  • Are you clear about your values and expectations with others?
  • How do you nurture yourself and have fun?
  • What have you learned that you do not want to repeat?
  • Are you pursuing your dreams or were they put on the back burner during your past marriage?

Some people feel writing in a journal helps to bring understanding and answers to their issues. Taking up meditation, yoga or other activities has helped others. Some divorcees have taken tours to exotic locales and discovered new insights. If you seem to be losing yourself in relationships and repeating mistakes then see a life coach or therapist to get you unstuck. Hypnotherapy aids in changing faulty self-beliefs and gaining self-awareness.  I have asked friends for brutal honesty and took their comments to heart. The important thing is to truly know yourself before entering into a new relationship post-divorce.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

Tips To Lower Stress in Divorce and Other Life Transitions.

Self-medicating is an unhealthy way of dealing with acute   stress and people shared how they survived divorce and beyond without hitting the bottle.  Gardening is what got Aiden through a tough divorce situation, and is a wonderful way to center oneself by taking care of plants. They depend upon you, giving purpose and focus with a daily routine to your life. Aiden looks forward to and is rewarded by vibrant flowers and organic vegetables.  He has a connection to others by sharing his bounty.

Jane got in a singles group post-divorce with both genders to meet a variety of people for friendships. She also joined a women’s group since many others had relationship woes and understood what she was experiencing. They have been in similar situations and can impart their insights. Lastly, Jane became a member of a divorce group who discussed the specific aspects of this situation, such as visitation and in-laws.  Jane felt these three types of groups gave her an outlet for dealing with divorce rather than by heavy drinking.

Reach out to others in order to take the focus off yourself. Volunteering is a great way to achieve this and it boosts your self-worth. One young man started developing an alcohol problem when downing beers at home to counteract loneliness. When a few people started commenting on his alcohol aroma, he took that to heart. Instead of treating loneliness by self-mediating with beer, he adopted a cat. Delia is quite a talker and shares is interest in video games. Finding out the cause of self-medicating is the first step in finding a solution.   www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/divorce-self-medicating/

 

Use Language to Propel You in Right Direction

Language is a powerful tool to enable you to reach goals. Or it can derail you.  Use positive words to point you where you want to go and to achieve your desired outcomes. I f  you want to remember your lunch for work then state it that way, not “I can’t forget my lunch.”  Otherwise you are putting forget and lunch into your brain. Certainly in a divorce situation, you would think, “I have to get the house”  not “Oh, I might lose the house.” Stating what you want is clearer to your divorce attorney. Say what you desire to achieve from asset division or visitation, not what you do not.   With a little practice, it becomes easy. Think where you want to go and phrase words accordingly. Don’t make statements about what you don’t want to happen.

A school district in the US, spent about $40,000.00 writing a conduct code manual which included bullying behavior and consequences. This took months to complete. When the committee went over the final results the whole project had to be scrapped and redone from the beginning. The entire manual contained “don’t” statements, not what students and staff  were to do.  It had behaviors and strategies that were unacceptable, not clear instructions about what was  expected. Using positive language of what is expected is also a more effective way to deal with children.  “Bums in the chair” or “feet on the floor” is clearer than “don’t jump around here.” Even instructions to dogs are positive words for outcomes, “sit” instead of “don’t run around.” Before I used positive language, there was more confusion. I got a call from my  son “where are you?”. I had said that I could NOT pick him up and later he remembered something about picking him up. Stating “walk home from school today” (desired outcome) would have been the way to go. In life, determine your goals and use language in a positive way to help you obtain them. Use upbeat language to help you visualize your dreams.

Have Laughter & Fun and Live Longer

The health benefits from having fun and laughter are many. Different organizations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to WebMD agree on the same principles that it increases one’s well-being.  I like the following quote from Roald Dahl:

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest of men.”

When you have fun and laugh, that relaxes your muscles relieving or diminishing chronic pain, by releasing endorphins which are natural pain killers. More oxygen and blood circulate around one’s body increasing blood flow to the heart. The stress hormone, Cortisol is lowered which then aids in improving the quality of sleep.

Norman Cousins wrote the book “Anatomy of an Illness.”  He was incapacitated by a spinal column illness and in great pain. He tried both conventional and more holistic types of remedies without a cure. For one month he closeted himself away and watched comedies and read jokes. After that time period, he presented himself to his stunned doctors who could not find a trace of the disease.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, CTCA, “Laughter Therapy” is an integral part of cancer treatment. Having fun and laughter boosts the Immune System, increasing natural killer cells which destroy tumor cells.   Laughter aids is boosting one’s positive outlook on life, which is important particularly when facing challenges like cancer or life transitions such as divorce. Having fun connects you to others and various studies have shown the positive affect of socialization on longevity.

Go to a comedy, have lattes with friends, go to Disneyland as I did right before my divorce. Think of what you enjoyed in the past and view this as just what the doctor has ordered, to increase your well-being.

 

Happiness and Meaning in Life

Viennese Viktor Frankl was sent to a concentration camp with some family members and he wrote about this ordeal in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” While imprisoned he discovered that others who had meaning in life were more apt to survive.  Frankl stated the Nazis could not take away one’s attitude, outlook on life.  He met several men who gave up and were waiting to die. Frankl delved into their lives and found out what was important to them, waiting on the outside.  For one it was a family member safely tucked away from harm, and the other had a special project that was left unfinished.  These two men then became determined to live.  The Center for Disease Control said that 4 out of 10 Americans  have not discovered their meaning in life and that negatively affects their health.

What is the difference between just having happiness or having meaning/purpose in life?  You are happy because you have money to buy expensive gadgets and goods.  If something took those away, then happiness fades.  Having meaning in life is more lasting, not the here and now of happiness without a purpose.  Meaning in life is more enduring, things may not be great now, but you are reaching out to others and enlarging your supportive social network. Frankl stated that the more one is focused outside of yourself  – reaching out to others – the more human you are. Most people that I interviewed, claimed that they got more out of volunteering, than the recipients did.

Since happiness is a more transient feeling there are ways to boost its level every day.  Spend your money on having experiences, rather than on more material goods.  Think about travel for example.  You open your eyes and mind to new cultures, sights and ideas which in turn can be life changing.  You can bond with your kids and have forever memories.

Make a list of what you enjoy doing and gives you pleasure.  Then schedule these on a weekly basis in your calendar.  It may be going out for lattes or margaritas with the girls or perhaps a stroll around a museum.  Pick some free activities, such as a picnic or hike in a leafy area.  Just thinking about what you were happy about that day can give you a more positive outlook in life.

Optimism and Health

Optimism can affect health and reduce stress, according to the Mayo Clinic.  A positive attitude is that “you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way.”  One is able to cope better in tense situations when optimistic.  The Mayo Clinic said positive thinking may increase the life span, decrease depression, and give one more resistance to colds.

A New York University study said that the brains of optimistic and pessimistic people light up differently when subjects thought about the future. They are striving to unravel how much is hereditary and much is due to other factors.

Researchers at the University of Penn. are not clear if optimistic people have especially good health because they take better care of themselves or that they have more extensive social contacts which “have been associated with longevity.”

Harvard school of Public Health studied optimism and heart disease.  They concluded that having a positive outlook could reduce heart disease risk by 50%.

Robert Grenfell, director of the Heart Foundation of Australia, said research indicates the link between “psychological well-being” and heart health.  People with social isolation have an increased risk for heart disease.

Different studies were unclear whether it is the pessimism or depression itself that has a negative impact on health, or is it more due to social ramifications such as a lack of a social network. Also it was mentioned that depressed people may not feel like doing preventative health care measures.

Strive to become more of a person who sees the world through rose colored glasses.  It may be beneficial to see a life coach or cognitive therapist, who help give concrete steps to achieve a more optimistic outlook on life. Others dive into self-help books for suggestions.