Going through a divorce is stressful, and that stress can have a serious impact on your health. The greater your stress, the worse your health becomes. The worse your health becomes, the more costs you face related to your health and the lower quality of life you experience.
Dealing with health issues, expensive medical costs, and a lower quality of life only increases your stress, forcing the cycle to repeat again and again. While there is probably no way to avoid massive amounts of stress during your divorce, it is important that you look after yourself throughout the process so that you can come out the other end in strong emotional and physical health.
The Burden of Divorce
Even if your divorce is the right thing for you, it will most likely represent one of the most difficult and stressful events in your life. Even before the divorce, you may have spent months or years in an unhappy and painful relationship.
According to the famous Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, divorce ranked as the #2 most stressful event in life, coming in behind only “Death of a spouse.” In fact, it ranked above going to jail, death of a close family member, and a major personal injury or illness.
All of this stress has emotional and physical consequences, which can also eventually affect your bank account. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can make existing health conditions worse, lead to destructive behavior, like overeating, gambling, or drug usage, and can make you “feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason.”
Stress can also affect your finances. If you suffer a stress-related health issue, like anxiety, depression, a heart attack, or an ulcer, you could face expensive medical bills and recurring medicine costs. Being distracted or irritable at work could mean you get skipped over for a promotion, or even demoted or fired!
Take Care of Yourself During a Divorce
It is critical that you take care of yourself during and after your divorce. Don’t let the stress eat you alive. Instead, make an effort to engage in positive activities even if it’s the last thing that you feel like doing. Just the effort of giving yourself love can help you step out of the negative loop of destructive divorce thoughts.
Here are a few ways to care for yourself during and after your divorce:
- Reach Out to Family Members and Friends for Support
Surround yourself with positive people who love you.
- Eat Well
Don’t give into the temptation to melt into the couch with a tub of ice cream or bag of chips in your lap. Make healthy meals for yourself. The act of cooking can be incredibly empowering and relaxing.
Find a class or sport that you enjoy or have always wanted to try and sign up. Exercise releases lots of “happy” hormones in the brain to help elevate your spirits.
- Pamper Yourself
Even if money is tight, consider buying a massage or body treatment for yourself once in a while. Treating yourself is empowering and will help you recognize that you are worth caring for. It also just feels so good!
- Get Help
If stress, anxiety, or depression are interfering with your ability to live a normal life, it may be time to seek the help of a mental health professional or to speak with your doctor. There is no shame in getting help so that you can live a happier and healthier life!
One great way to help take away some of the uncertainty related to divorce is to sign up for the next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop in your area.
Here, you’ll meet divorce professionals who can help you prepare for your divorce so you can make the process as stress-free as possible. Also, here a great article on the twelve financial pitfalls of divorce to read in the meantime.