According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory,
divorce is the second-most stressful life event, just after the death
of a spouse; separation is the third-most stressful event. This means
that separation and divorce can actually lead to illness if you do not
take care of yourself. It is very important that, along with protecting
your financial assets, you protect your most important asset: your
What Can I Do To Stay Healthy During a Divorce?
It is easy to let yourself become stressed and run down during a
divorce proceeding, but there are things you can do to counter this
tendency. Here are some tips to keep yourself healthy throughout your
- Eat properly. During a separation, many people
experience what is referred to as the “separation diet.” It is not
unusual for a person to drop 20 pounds or more within a few weeks of a
separation simply due to lack of appetite. If you cannot force yourself
to eat, try to substitute some nutritional shakes for meals.
Alternatively, if you find yourself binge-eating, keep healthy snacks on
hand to counteract this tendency.
- Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain
which makes you feel better and elevate your mood. Gentle, mild
exercise such as a brisk walk or a circuit workout at the health club
can raise your spirits and help you clear the “brain fog” that can set
in during separation. Joining an exercise class also gives you a reason
to get out of the house and be around other people.
- Lean on support of family and friends. Many men
have trouble asking for help. During this time, do not be afraid to call
on family or trusted friends if you are lonely or feeling blue. On the
other hand, do not make family and friends a wailing wall; tell them up
front that you may need “tough love” to pull you out of your depression
and let them encourage you with positive, uplifting words.
- Visit your doctor. Trying to fight depression or
stress-induced illness alone is like fighting with one hand tied behind
your back. You do not have to go on antidepressants if you do not want
to, but your doctor may have some good advice in addition to
pharmaceuticals to help you overcome the worst of your struggles.
Finally, hiring a good divorce lawyer can lower your stress levels considerably. Talk to the attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center about the best way to handle your divorce.