Health

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.  

Supplements for Stress and Divorce

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

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

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

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

Antioxidants are nutrients that include flavonoids that decrease free radicals. Free radicals are the waste products of cells that increase inflammation in the body.  Please read more     http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/coping-with-divorce-and-health/

Men’s Divorce

Several men stated that post-divorce is the opportunity for change and be can be the catalyst for trying something new. They said when their divorced friends clung to the past they did not fare as well in the post-divorce period. The past cannot be altered, but knowledge gained can be invaluable for moving on. Terry was adamant that men have to do work on themselves after a bad break up before getting into a new relationship. His buddies that got divorce number two did not pause to reflect upon their part which ended the marriage and what could be done differently the next time around. He advises men not to rush into a new partnership too quickly and make sure they understand how to communicate more effectively. He had a session with a therapist and has been blissfully wedded to his second wife for fifteen years.

One man feels that he got a divorce too quickly and could have worked out differences with his wife. He tells other men not to be in a rush for a divorce when hitting a bad patch during marriage. They did not have marital counselling which may have gotten their relationship back on track. He has a job which involves frequent travel and he misses his two young daughters. He jumped into a new relationship right away and has doubts about being with this new girlfriend. This “what if” situation is keeping him in a holding pattern and he is not moving on. Be clear that a relationship is truly over before getting into another one.

Some men commented that some of their divorced peers were living on junk food. Dr Kawachi of the Harvard School of Public Health’s study of 30,000 men indicated this result. Take good care of yourself and prioritise your health and needs. Recently divorced men tended to have a decrease in a healthy lifestyle, partly due to eating less vegetables and consuming more fried food. Although this is changing, in many households, women were the main chefs during marriage. In the States, there is a trend for single men to take some basic cooking classes which then negates this issue of divorce.

The New England Research Institute’s research indicates that 62% of men relied on their wives as their principle social support. Studies by various universities correlate having friends and a good social network positively impacts the immune system in reducing the frequency of colds and the flu.  Others show the healthy effect of a wide social circle on longevity. For example, a study done at Flinders’ University in Australia found that 22% of 1500 older subjects who had many friends, outlived those who only had a few. Men that get out and meet new people or strengthen the bond already made with others, tend to have an easier time post-divorce, than their less connected peers.  Consider getting together with the guys for sports or fun.     http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/men-dealing-with-divorce/