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.

Men that have routines felt that they had more control in their lives or knew what to expect in the turbulent divorce period. Some have specific routines with their children, such as a Saturday morning breakfast out or Sunday afternoon engaging in physical activities or sports. Some take the kids or go solo to their parents’ place for a weekly get-together. Others set up weekly meets at the pub with mates for darts. Building weekly fun or interactions into the schedule got some guys through the craziness of divorce.

Consider watching the hilarious film “The Odd Couple” with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. These two fellows navigate the post-divorce period with a lot of laughs and some mistakes. Great fun.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  https://www.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.   http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/divorce-self-medicating/

 

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.