Maintaining Wellness During and After Divorce

by Sandra Hughes

Navigating a divorce is stressful and unpredictable.  Regular exercise and a healthy diet go a long way in managing our stress and making us feel a whole lot better in general. A grounding activity like yoga or Pilates is relaxing and helpful. Maintaining healthy habits and taking care of ourselves is vital during this uncertain time.

My Journey to be Well

Around the time that I separated in 2014, I read an article about staying healthy during divorce. I started a holistic health care regimen while I was going to graduate school. Just as that regimen helped alleviate the stress and pressure of school, it stood to reason, it would help alleviate the stress and pressure of the divorce process. That article certainly confirmed it, so I continued my health and wellness path, switching modalities as needed, based upon how I was feeling and what I needed at the time.

For example, when I first began my holistic journey, I adopted a daily meditation practice. That was fine-tuned later when I took a Spirituality in Leadership class in business school; then I started taking classes to learn Qigong, the meditation practice that goes with Tai chi. Now I do a simple 10-minute breathing/meditation exercise every morning and set my intention for the day. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it is a very simple, grounding experience.

Exercise is key. I try to walk or use the elliptical every day, preferably in the morning, after my meditation exercise and before I start checking and getting involved in answering and sending emails. If I exercise first thing, then I’ve done it and don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.

Get Yourself a Team

The rest of my wellness regimen is covered by my wellness support team. Much of the stress and unpredictability of your divorce can be alleviated from the beginning, if you put a wellness support team in place, and I highly advise it. The wellness team members are there in their expert capacity in each of their modalities to help you deal with the stress and intense emotion caused by the divorce.

My suggestion is to get referrals for all of these team members from people that you trust, family, friends or colleagues, and then interview each to make sure that the person is the right fit for you. It is important that you feel truly supported by each of your team members.

The Four Members of your Wellness Team

Therapist (LFMT, MFT) – Hopefully your divorce attorney or mediator has suggested that you start seeing a therapist; I am suggesting that you do. There will be a lot of emotion during the divorce process and a lot of diving deep into the whys and hows of your relationship. A therapist is the best person to work through all of that with you.

Massage Therapist – Massage is a great stress reliever. I started having regular massages about eight years ago and it has made a world of difference relieving stress during my divorce.

Acupuncturist and/or Chiropractor– Either or both of these practitioners helps relieve the stress that manifests itself in different parts of our bodies, most often our neck, shoulders and spine. We tend to tighten all of these when we are stressed and in “fight or flight mode”.  Personally, I hadn’t been to either for 30 years because my first experience with both was not that great: huge needles at the acupuncturist and intense bone cracking at the chiropractor. I learned recently that there are acupuncturists who use little thin needles with great effect, and a chiropractor who uses less intense bone cracking techniques. I am now a huge fan of both and I receive treatments regularly. Both have done wonders helping me to achieve stress relief! Also, it is often possible to find practitioners who are also covered by health insurance.

Certified Coach – A certified coach plays a different role than a therapist. A coach is more like a mentor, a person with whom you discuss your goals and your plan for achieving them. In the process you explore your values and life purpose. A coach will guide you and help you to be accountable for what you say you want/are going to do. Together, you will create a vision of your reinvented life!

My wellness team told me they were pleased that I was being proactive and preventative in keeping myself healthy during this time in my divorce, instead of waiting to seek them out when the process was over and I was ill from the stress of it all. That, unfortunately, is what most of their patients did. I encourage you not to be MOST patients! I celebrate your continued path to health and well-being!

To learn more about navigating the transition of divorce, visit my website at http://www.sbhcoaching.com. You can also join my private Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LifeReinventedPrivateGroup

 

Sandra Hughes is a leadership coach for adults 40+ going through significant transitions. She  created Life Reinventedto help people navigate divorce. She has a CPCC designation from The Coaches Training Institute, and MBA from Santa Clara University. Sandra had a long corporate career before navigating her own divorce after 27 years of marriage. She is committed to helping people achieve integrated lives and finding the joy they deserve.

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Conversations You Shouldn’t Have With Strangers

Sometimes it can feel like an impossible task to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, and other times it is the easiest thing in the world. It all depends who the person is, and what you think of them when you first see them. Once you have gaged what kind of person you think they are, you are more likely to be comfortable speaking to them about certain subjects. However, there are things that you should never talk about, no matter how confident or strongly you feel about them. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of these things, so if you want to know what they are, keep reading below.

Religion

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Religion is something that you should never talk about in public or with a stranger. We are not saying that you can’t share your faith with those people who are interested in it, but for some it is just an awkward point of conversation and another way to isolate others. That is why no matter how you feel, you should probably not be bringing it up in a new conversation. For example, how would you feel if someone came up to you and asked you who created God? It seems like a straightforward question, but when you have conflicting views this could be an issue.

Tolerant people are all around, but there are others who are not so tolerant of others beliefs. That is why it is always best to keep your opinions to yourself on this subject, unless explicitly asked by the other person.

Politics

The next thing that you should not be talking about is politics. So many relationships, friendships and other social norms are destroyed by two people having opposing political views. It has also been known that some people take this too far, and can start being mean or abusing the other person who does not agree with them. To avoid this situation, all you have to do is not talk about this with people you are not close with. This way, things cannot get into bad territory and you are not going to be judged for your opinions and values.

Money

Finally, money is something that you shouldn’t talk about. How much you make, how you spend it, what kind of things you have and so on could easily make someone else feel down about what they have. We are not suggesting that you can’t be glad and happy about the life that you are living, but try not to rub it in the face of others. You never know who is struggling and would love what you have but further than this, it could cause you a lot of social problems that you are not going to want.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know some of the conversation topics that you should not bring up with strangers. Avoiding these topics is not only going to be helpful when it comes to building relationships, but it could also spare someone else feeling bad about how they feel.

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Looking Out For Yourself When Times Get Tough

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Throughout our lives, we will go through some amazing times and some more turbulent ones. When we were in our teenage years, we thought that a bad day was the worst day of our lives. We thought that getting older and becoming fully fledged adults would mean our freedom and maturity would allow us to get over the bad times. That’s not exactly the case, though, is it? It turns out that, sure, our moods swings as younger people were frustrating, but they didn’t have anything on the stresses and strains of adult life. Whether it’s personal or work, things can get very tough at times.

When things get a little rough, you can feel alone and that there’s not too much that can be done to fix them. You can rest assured, however, as there are lots that to do that can help – some simple and some more complex. If you need a little push, here are a few simple ideas that may go a long way.      

Talk To Your Close Ones

A lot of people don’t like to open up to their friends and family about whatever situation that they’re going through – no matter how big it may be. It’s not a great idea to keep things bottled up as they’ll probably only get worse. As well as providing all the emotional support you need, they’ll be able to look at the situation from a different perspective and give you anything from small tips to giant favours. They won’t be able to advise you and make you feel better if you keep things under lock and key.

Talk To A Professional

Taking things a little further and speaking with somebody who knows almost everything about what you’re going through might be of great help. Whether it’s your local doctor or a specialist, they will be able to advise you on where to go and what to do. It is their passion and their love to make sure you’re okay with everything.  

Exercise

Making sure that you’re activity will help you when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps. Even if it’s just a twenty-minute walk. Your body produces natural happiness and positivity after exercising, and you’ll also be making yourself fitter in the process. Bad things won’t disappear completely, but you’ll be better prepared and reinforced mentally.

Eat Well

Now, it’s lovely to eat junk food, and it feels good from time to time, but you don’t want to keep the habit up frequently. You’ll just feel more sluggish and that can’t help you much when you’re already going through a sticky patch. Make sure you’re eating all the good, nutrition stuff while drinking heaps of water and keeping active.

Be Positive

Finally, just look at the bright side of things. Now, obviously not everybody has the sunniest disposition, and that’s okay. But even if you’re a glass half empty type, just reviewing the situation and hanging on to the positives will help out a bunch. Finding some good may give you some motivation and something to look for.

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5 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Play Sports

We all know that playing sports is healthy. Not only does it encourage social skills and friendships, but it also gets children active which is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle. The good news is, there are lots of sports to choose from, so it’s likely you’ll find something your child enjoys. Here are a few ways to encourage your child to get involved in sports.

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Don’t Force Them

With the rise of computer games, social media and devices for children, it can be harder than ever to tempt young minds into playing sports. The important thing is not to force them into doing a particular sport. Even if you’re a keen football supporter or you’ve been watching tennis since you were a child, your own child may choose something entirely different. Allow them to explore the options, but only invest in equipment when you know your child is serious about playing.

Grace Under Pressure

Every sport is competitive, and competition can take its toll on children. When a child loses a match, it can feel like failure, even when they played their best. In most sports, children aren’t given trophies just for taking part, so learning to lose gracefully is part and parcel of playing sports. It’s also a great life lesson – being a sore loser won’t get your child very far. Teaching your child that losing is okay, as long as they have done their best will set them up for playing any kind of sport.

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Give Them What They Need

There are many sports that require parents to make an investment. Sports classes often cost money in themselves, but you may also be required to buy equipment and clothing. For example, youth baseball jerseys aren’t always cheap, but they do make a child feel like part of the team. Having the right equipment isn’t just about looking and feeling good; it’s about giving your child the best chance at succeeding in their chosen sport.

Lower Your Expectations

It’s easy for parents to put pressure on their children without realizing it. It’s important to allow your child to develop at a normal rate, rather than pushing them to achieve things sooner than anyone else. The only role you need to play is that of a supportive parent. Make sure your child attends practice as often as possible and he is surrounded by individuals who will encourage him to do his best.

Choose a Good Coach

Many child athletes stick with their childhood coaches well into adulthood and through their careers. Finding the right coach can take some time, but once you have a good one, they’re worth their weight in gold. Your child’s coach should have a proper teaching technique but also be able to distinguish the differences between each student. Knowing what a student needs and how to bring the best out in them is a talent only few coaches possess.

Remember that your child needs down time while playing any sport in order to create a balanced life.

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When An Extreme Situation Leads To Odd Decisions

Life is full of surprises. Some are pleasant and feel like an unexpected gift. Others are much more unpleasant and dramatically increase your stress levels. The definition of an extreme situation – or a bad surprise, if you prefer – vary from one person to another. For one individual, it could be facing a painful breakup. For someone else, receiving a life-changing diagnosis can force them to take hard decisions. But the fact is, regardless of the crisis you’re facing, it’s your ability to make the appropriate decision that can get you through it.

Don’t walk away from decisions

When you start neglecting yourself and others

A tricky situation can make you feel as if you were ambushed with no way to escape. Court cases can often dramatically affect your nerves. However, if you intend to have a fighting chance, you need to look after yourself and those around you during a difficult time. For instance, a stressful divorce could suck up all the positivity in your life. However, you can’t afford to ignore your mental and physical health in the process, or even your children. Similarly, even though you might feel pushed into a corner, try not to indulge in unhealthy coping mechanisms. Alcohol, for instance, is never a solution to your problems.

When you take a rash decision

If you’re going through a breakup, or you’re fighting for child’s custody, it’s difficult to think straight. There are a lot of nasty things that can be said, and as a result, you might find yourself thinking that you want to prevent a similar situation happening in the future. As a result, it’s not uncommon for distressed men to decide to have a vasectomy, as a way to protect themselves. However, even though there are cases of reversal vasectomy, you need to assume that your decision will have lasting and permanent consequences on your life. What feels right today in a context of anger might be deeply regretted tomorrow in a context of love. Take the time to evaluate your decisions before you act.   

When you can’t take it anymore

That’s it; you’re done now. You just want peace, and you’re going to have it. There are moments in life when you realize that it’s all too much for you. Taking rash decisions in anger is a mistake. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t decide rapidly when you are thinking clearly. For instance, quitting your job isn’t always a terrible idea, especially if you figure out early that the company isn’t right for you. You need to be sure that the decision is reasoned, however! Walking away from a bad situation can be the best thing you do.

When you decide to watch and let it go

Finally, if you don’t know how to decide, you might be tempted to become a spectator of your own life. However, things don’t sort themselves out if you don’t intervene. You need to listen to your intuition instead of overthinking your options. Your intuition is a perception of the situation that is built on insights you might not be aware you have.

In conclusion, it’s impossible to tell what is the right or the wrong thing to do. However, it’s fair to say that you can measure the potential harm each decision can cause, and figure out the appropriate path from there.

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4 Things You Must Never Do When Going Through A Divorce

Breakup Couple Relationship Separation Divorce

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In any relationship, divorce should always be the final option. When possible, you should look to work at your marriage, not only for your sake but also for the sake of your children. Of course, sometimes, despite your best efforts, divorce is inevitable, especially when the marriage is broken beyond repair. Should this be the case, there are things you should and shouldn’t do when moving forward. For the purposes of this article, here are the things you should never do.

#1: Don’t neglect your health

It’s rare that divorce is easy on a person’s health, as it can bring about feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s important then to take care of your emotional and physical needs during this time, such as speaking to a doctor or a counselor, spending time with friends, and finding ways to bring more positivity into your life during this dark time. Time does heal, and life will go on, but it will happen a lot faster if you care for yourself in the process.

#2: Don’t neglect the needs of your child

While divorce is difficult for you, you must never forget what your child is going through. Many children go through feelings of guilt when mommy and daddy split up, as well as anger, sadness, and anxiety. As a parent, you need to reassure your child that he/she isn’t to blame. When possible, you need to figure out joint custody, working out both mother’s rights and father’s rights with a family attorney, so your child still has time with both of you within their young lives. And you should take time to listen and to talk to your child, as well as allowing them the privilege of a family therapist to further talk through their feelings and emotions.

#3: Don’t do something you will later regret

Emotions will be running high, and if you’re not careful, you could do something that you will later regret. You could jeopardize both your health and your custody rights by falling into bad habits, such as falling prey to alcohol when dealing with your feelings. You could cause loyalty conflict within your child if you continually bad mouth the other person. And you might post something negative about your partner on social media, and that could later be used against you in court. You don’t want to hurt yourself or your child. You don’t want to do something that could affect your custody or visitation rights. So, while it isn’t easy, be mindful of all that you do and say.

#4: Don’t listen to divorce advice from friends and family

When it comes to advice about the divorce, the only person you need to get advice from is your attorney. They will talk to you about custody rights, sharing joint assets, court orders, etc. Don’t listen to the advice of anybody else professing to know what it is they are talking about, such as family members and friends who are trying to be protective of you. Sure, they can support you, offer you a shoulder to cry on, and help you with your personal life, but if they try and offer you advice based on what they have experienced themselves or seen on the television, politely say ‘no.’ Each divorce case is unique, and should you act upon bad advice from those who aren’t professionals, you might jeopardize your future.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

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Wisdom is Knowing the Right Path to Take in Life. Integrity is Taking it

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The start of the new year is a chance to reflect, to look at the goals we set last year, and decide what we’d like to achieve in the coming months. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to check in and make sure we’re on a path that’s taking us towards where we want to be. Instead of setting superficial resolutions this year that will be forgotten about by February, why not delve a little deeper? Changes like these could massively improve your life for the better.

Move somewhere new

The place where we live affects our lives in a big way. From the property itself, the space we have and the way it’s decorated- to the general area and overall location. If your home is cramped and small you might find yourself getting stressed and running out of space. If it’s in a busy city, you might be tired of the noise and pollution. If the area has gone downhill since you moved in, you might be worried about crime and other social issues. Don’t feel like you’re stuck in the place you have, it’s so worth doing some research and finding what else is out there. Property sites like William Pitt have home valuation tools so you can see what yours is worth at the click of a button, and from there can see what else you can afford. Moving can mean a fresh start, and a chance to start living life the way that you want.

Consider a change of career

Most of us spend around forty hours a week at work, and so if you’re unhappy in your job, you’re more than likely going to be unhappy in the rest of your life too. While a change of career is a huge deal, it could well end up being one of the best things you’ve ever done. You could go back to university and study for the qualification you need, or do it part-time from home. Otherwise, you could look into alternate ways of changing career, such as starting at the bottom and working your way up. While you’ll experience a drop in money to begin with, it could lead to far better prospects later down the line, and a job you’re much happier in.

Make an effort to meet new people

It’s so easy to fall into a rut in adulthood. We spend most of our days working, and spend time with the same few people. We rarely push outside our comfort zone and try new things where we’re exposed to new individuals. It’s easy to think that we don’t need more friends, but meeting others adds depth and interest to life like nothing else. You might not like everyone you meet, but everyone brings with them lessons. They can teach you a new perspective, or even reflect something of yourself back at you which motivates you to change. They can introduce you to new things that you simply would never have done on your own. If you’re single, why not sign up to a dating app and go on some dates? Join a meetup website and meet with others with the same interests as you. Reconnect with old friends on Facebook, and say yes to more social invitations. You wont regret it!

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