How to Avoid Neglecting Your Health During Divorce

How to Avoid Neglecting Your Health During Divorce
Stacey Freeman

By Stacey Freeman | Mar 15th, 2020

Divorce is a turbulent, stressful time. It sucks out all of your energy like a leech, leaving you feeling withered and drained. During such a tumultuous period, it is difficult to focus on your health. However, neglecting your health exacerbates your divorce. Below are some tips and tricks you can use to manage your mental and physical health while divorcing.

Find time for exercise

Your divorce is likely keeping you busy — you have to meet with lawyers, deal with your ex-spouse, drive your kids around to all their activities, keep your house clean, etc. I get it. You have a lot to do. But these chores do not keep you moving the way you need to. Only about 30 minutes of exercise every day is necessary to improve your health. Exercise helps your physical health because it gets your blood flowing, is good for your heart, strengthens your muscles, and more. But it also helps your mental health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel happier. Endorphins could make the divorce process more bearable. And exercising is connected to sleeping better at night, which will make you feel less drained from the divorce process. Also, exercise is inversely related to depression, meaning people who exercise more often are less likely to feel depressed.

Eat well

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” It does ring true to an extent. Our bodies break down the molecules of our food to form energy and carry out metabolic processes. However, our bodies don’t make all of the chemicals necessary for these processes and must come from food. That’s why you hear people rave about vitamins. Eat healthy foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients so that you can be your best physical self. Choose natural foods over artificial ones. Doing so will also improve your mental health because many of these nutrients are necessary for neurological functions, which means that eating healthy foods will enable your brain to function at its best right along with your body.

Get a full night of sleep

Divorce is stressful, and stress for you may translate into staring at your ceiling all night or rolling around in bed unable to fall asleep. Sleep deprivation has adverse health effects, including the inability to focus, memory loss, weight gain, and more. All of these effects would be detrimental to the divorce process, making an already demanding process unbearable. You might scoff to yourself, thinking my advice is easier said than done.

Ways to get a full night of sleep include not being in your room unless you are going to sleep, not using your phone or watching TV before bed, exercising during the day, and not eating before bed. But if the stress of divorce itself is what is keeping you up at night and getting in the way of your mental and physical health, then the best way to fall asleep is to approach that stress head-on. Rationalize ways that you could resolve this stress. Make a to-do list and change your thinking from pessimistic to optimistic. Remind yourself that everything will be OK and that the divorce process isn’t forever.

Talk to your friends

We are inherently social. We need friends or people who love us for who we are and that we trust. Divorce may feel all-encompassing, and you may feel as if you are being closed off from the rest of your life, including your friends and family. That doesn’t have to be the case. Make time during your day to call up your friends, and perhaps make lunch plans. Be honest with your friends about your feelings as you go through your divorce. Confiding in someone you trust will do wonders for your mental health. You will feel as if a weight has been lifted when you spend time with people who make you feel valued and loved and that will translate into a happier you who can face divorce head-on, and healthy.

Stacey Freeman

Stacey Freeman

Stacey Freeman is a New York City-based writer, lifestyle editor at, and the founder and managing director of Write On Track.


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