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Is Your Divorce Making You Sick?

Divorce is hard. It doesn’t have to be nasty, but often even the most amicable divorces take a toll on the well-being of the parties involved. The emotions that commonly accompany divorce, like loss, anger, sadness, anxiety, and loneliness can have a significant impact on your health in several ways, not only emotionally, but physically as well. Below is a list of the most common ways divorce may have an impact on your health, and some things that you can do to help combat those effects.

1. Stress.

Divorce is a very stressful event. But unlike meeting a deadline at work, divorce is a stressful event that seems to go on forever. This long term stress caused by divorce can negatively impact several body systems, causing issues such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety and trouble sleeping.

2. Insomnia. 

Trouble sleeping often accompanies the stress experienced while going through a divorce. Are you up at night worried about the outcome of your divorce, or are you unsettled by the unfamiliarity of not having your spouse by your side each night? Regardless of the root cause, insomnia often goes hand in hand with divorce. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent insomnia, such as prioritizing sleep and implementing positive sleep habits, such as going to bed at a routine time and ensuing that your sleeping environment is completely dark and quite

3. Weakened Immune System.

Increased stress plus lack of sleep equals a weakened immune system. This in turn often leads to those going through a divorce to experience an increase in the number of illnesses they acquire, such as colds and the flu.  With this being said, implement the positive sleep routines outlined above and try to focus on positive thoughts, such as the well-being of your children, and take care of yourself.

4. Depression.

Chronic stress, anxiety and feelings of loneliness often lead to depression as well. In order to combat this, work toward developing a new support system and seek professional help. Spend more time with friends and family who you feel comfortable sharing your emotions with. Additionally, seek the aid of a family counselor who will provide you with useful coping mechanisms to help you cope with your feelings in a healthy manner.

5. Weight Gain.

Chronic stress can unfortunately take a toll on your waistline as well. Research has shown that long-term stress has been linked to the storage of excess abdominal fat. Additionally, stress may also cause some to eat in response to emotional triggers instead of limiting eating to hunger ques. Healthy diet, exercise, and positive social support all have the ability to play a significant role in reducing stress by providing positive emotional releases. Remember, divorce is an inherently stressful experience. With that being said, please don't forget to take care of yourself.

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