Why Playfulness During Divorce Is Important

Playfulness is a way to reduce stress and get through the minutia and tasks required during divorce. Besides helping life to be more bearable when juggling proceedings, children and a job, a sense of playfulness lowers anxiety. Being in a calmer state is beneficial for making those crucial decisions regarding splitting assets and so forth.

There are various studies on the benefits of playfulness in getting through adversity (such as divorce) and contributing to longevity. Dr Proyer from the University of Zurich has done much research on adult playfulness and states these individuals cope better with stress and being able to adapt to situations. One study found that playfulness increased one’s well-being and resilience. When I was a nurse on a busy trauma unit, most of us were burned out with patients hovering between life and death. The two playful nurses who wadded up paper to bat around like a ball, were not. In-between patient codes and procedures, these fellows made up games and were the most relaxed nurses on the unit.

Professor Barret at University of Illinois also found that playful folks are better able to handle stress. These individuals perceived their stress levels to be lower, than the less playful subjects in the study. When people are playful, they have better strategies to deal with stress according to her research. Mistakes are more likely to be viewed as learning opportunities rather than as blunders.

Consider the advantages to having a playful outlook during divorce. One is better able to utilize coping strategies during this stressful time and less likely to fall apart. A person can take a pause from proceedings and be engrossed in pleasurable activities. Playing lets out some steam and enables one to see the humorous side of life. Children benefit by being around laughter and spontaneity instead of glum parents.

Playfulness improves cognitive, emotional and social functioning as was reported In the American Journal of Play, Summer 2011 edition. Good mental (cognitive) functioning is necessary when going through finances and deciding whether to sell the marital home or buy out one’s spouse during divorce. Other studies found that playful folks draw people to them. They are open, fun to be around, engaging and positive. Being able to connect with others and have a network of support enables one to move through the craziness of divorce. Being bitter and negative post-divorce can push people away.

An example of the longevity benefits of playfulness are the elderly Chinese in Beijing. These senior citizens were dancing to the music from their boom boxes, doing Tai Chi, playing board games, plus more. They laughed, indulged in badminton and chatted. They clearly enjoyed their time together and were extremely active physically and mentally. There were no wheelchairs or walkers in that group. This contrasts to a divorced woman I knew in the States, who was anything but playful and died of a heart attack.

I was at Disneyland with my sons when I decided to initiate divorce. I called family and friends between rides on Snow White, Mr. Toad’s Wild Adventure and Indiana Jones. I was forced to be playful in this atmosphere and that started my divorce in a much more relaxed way. Figuring out finances was less stressful when standing in line for The Haunted Mansion. My sons were relieved that divorce was about to happen. Disneyland set the tone for keeping playfulness throughout my divorce.

There are ways to be more light-hearted during proceedings. Plan at least one weekly get-together with pals to vent or catch up on news. Having support helps to lighten your burden. Spend time in nature which is calming, even if in a small leafy city square. My sons and I watched comedies and laughed a lot. Go to a fair and act like a kid. Get out of town to spend a day walking along the beach and enjoying the amusements on the boardwalk. My mother took my sons and I on a river cruise during divorce, which was approved by both of our attorneys. That took our minds off the divorce and into the play mode. Think of how to inject some fun into your agenda on a regular basis, and divorce will go a bit smoother.

My article was originally printed in DivorceForce   https://www.divorceforce.com/   Affected by Divorce? Join DivorceForce, the online community committed to empowering those affected by divorce. Many helpful articles for those facing divorce.   @divorceforce (Twitter)

Far Flung Adventures With Breath-Taking Scenery- Bucket List Part 3

Australia  australiaBeautiful beach in Australia (Lucky Bay)

Australia is  captivating and  possibly the best country in the world for a road trip. World class beaches, ancient rainforests, safe roads, well maintained walking paths, friendly people in the most remote places (Australia is actually recognized as having the most remote city in the world: Perth.), incredible wildlife, ancient wonders and a historic fascinating indigenous culture. I lived here for around two years and really can’t praise the place enough. I didn’t know what to expect when I first embarked on the long flight to this huge island/continent nation, although the culture is similar to mine the country is different in unimaginable ways. The sheer size of this place is mesmerizing, the vast majority of it expanses of nothingness, desert and wilderness. . I spent time working in an aboriginal community, learning about the history and way of life as well as their vicious mistreatment is an enlightening experience.

There are some many unique places and species of wildlife here it would be impossible to name them all, you could spend years in this country and only scratch the surface. Naturally pink lakes, the opportunity to swim with great whites and dolphins in the wild, underground cave dwelling communities, and 20 foot crocodiles, the weird and wonderful is present and plenty in Australia.

Lastly of all I’ll say is don’t be afraid, yes there are deadly animals native to Australia but the danger is massively exaggerated. The last person to die from a spider bite was in the 70’s! The world’s most deadly animal here is actually the cow (road traffic accidents). In two years of camping in the wilderness, hiking out in the bush and going to the most remote places possible the only deadly animal I saw was an octopus that someone snagged on a fishing line out at sea.

New Zealand 10857156_10203512395350974_8529118397825822705_oHikes displaying stunning scenery like this

For me this place may be unrivalled in natural beauty. So accessible and traversable as well! The home of Lord of the Rings boasts jaw dropping scenery and some of the friendliest people. A great family holiday for lovers of the outdoors. My personal highlights would be a light aircraft flight over snow-capped peaks, bungee jumping, sky diving, hang gliding and the numerous hikes amongst raw nature. New Zealand is another perfect country for marine wildlife and swimming with dolphins. (In the wild, not in some horror show like sea world!)

There are plenty of tour options and bus travel options, alternatively it’s the perfect self-drive camping holiday, you can see the whole country more or less in 3-6 weeks. The mix of glaciers, mountains, lakes, islands, volcanos, thermals, beaches and rolling British-like countryside in such a compact country make this a really striking and memorable place.  

Unique Sights

The Northern Lights

Now, the Northern lights are really unpredictable. I would suggest visiting a destination such as Norway, Finland or Iceland for what they have to offer besides the lights and then if you get to see them it’s just a bonus! Anyway those 3 countries really are beautiful and worth a visit at any time of year in their own right.

The lights are best seen on a dark, clear night so visit between April and September check with locals and weather forecasts (also aurora forecasts) prior to and during your visit. Your best chance at seeing them is in perfect conditions and looking to the north but nothing is guaranteed so in the meantime enjoy these snow covered landscapes with your family and indulge in some activities! There are multiple snow sports plus trekking in search of polar bears! (With a guide of course.)

There are companies with experts who can help search for the lights and although your best chance to spot them may be out in the country side they can be seen from main cities like Reykjavik (Iceland) and Tromso (Norway) as well.

Belgium- Charming fairy tale backdrops, architecture and chocolate

Bruges (Belgium) is like stepping into a fairy tale. Home to charming architecture and arresting scenery, plus most importantly chocolate! Dad will be happy with the ancient brewery tours and unlimited beer options (up to 300 different types of beer in some bars!) plus the children will enjoy the parks and shops full of handmade chocolate treats. It’s a great little town to just wander around admiring the buildings and waterways; it’s a great place to spend a few days as part of a longer European trip.

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Machu Picchu- Peru

Incan history is enthralling and Machu Picchu is the number one attraction in South America for a reason. After seeing ruins throughout South America I wasn’t expecting to be blown away in quite the fashion that I was when I visited here in 2016. The scale and remoteness of the site offers a dimension and experience that is unmatched. When gazing down at this ancient and wondrous structure from above, you get a feeling that can’t really be duplicated. Machu Picchu, due to its location, wasn’t re-discovered until 1911. However the human race is making up for lost time and there are now limits on tickets due to the sheer volume of people travelling to visit this unique place.

Book your tickets in advance and I’d seriously recommend getting the exclusive tickets to hike Huaynu/Wayynu Picchu (only 400 people allowed up each day) to witness the best view of Machu Picchu. It’s a steep hike but definitely doable (I reached top second, a 60 year old Chilean man beat me to it!) not to mention worth it for the 360 breath-taking panoramic. Something to keep in mind is that this historical site involves a lot of walking and gets very busy it’s better to take the earliest bus possible to arrive at dawn. Whilst not a typical family holiday hotspot I saw plenty of children and adults of all ages enjoying this lost Incan city and world wonder.

thumbnail_IMG_0488A beautiful and peaceful view over Machu Picchu

That concludes my series on family bucket list destinations, hopefully you will have some ideas for the future and make some memories in an interesting country!

This article was authored by Krishan Smith: senior editor and content specialist at Custody X Change, a custody software solution. Custody X Change provides software for developing and managing custody agreements, parenting plans and schedules whilst additionally providing free co-parenting resources.

 

The Secret To Caring For Pets While Going Through Divorce

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One of the most common reasons people relinquish or rehome their pets is because of divorce. Due to couples calling it quits, there are millions of animals entering the shelters every year. You are not a terrible person for wanting to find a better home for your pet when going through tough times, but there are some factors you should consider for your pet.

The Impact of Divorce on Pets

A stable, loving home and a regular routine are what is best for our furry friends. This has been proven time and again by research. However, your pet will not be in good shape if you give them up to an uncertain future in a shelter or a new home. Your pet may also act out or experience anxiety when there is stressful domestic discord. Many pets, especially dogs, are used to habits. They go through a major disruption in their routine and can demonstrate symptoms of separation anxiety during divorce. Therefore, a perfectly trained dog may start to bark a lot or have a few accidents. This does not make them “bad.” It’s just their natural, short-term reaction.

How Pets Are Treated Legally

Those of us who love pets know they are part of the family. But, they are treated like property according to the law. Therefore, the judge probably will not care whose side of the bed your pet slept on or who took care of the cat when your divorce battle goes to court and custody is disputed. A recent study found that there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of custody hearings for pets. Custody battles almost always end in heartache so if you can, try to put together a notarized agreement.

Consider Splitting Custody

After a divorce, different people will prefer different pet care arrangements. For some people, a one month on, one month off split custody arrangement would work well. Others might find it works better to have one primary caregiver, and the other partner can serve as a kind of “petsitter.” One surprising finding is that with split custody, divorced individuals learn to become friends with their exes over time as they are forced to cooperate in a fairly easy-to-manage situation.

Divorce is a painful process, but it almost always leads to a better situation for everyone involved. By keeping your pet’s best interests in mind, you are sure to have a more positive outcome for everyone involved.

 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.