Using Exercise as a Way to Cope with Divorce

Your divorce will be traumatic.  Even if you have wanted it for years, your life will change in ways you may not have considered.  There will be decisions to make and everything can be confusing.  Finding new ways to cope with your divorce will be very important and exercise is a great way to help you.

Many people eat when they are stressed and rarely do they eat healthy as they binge.  The last thing you will want is to gain “stress” weight during this time and add the feelings of low self-esteem to your already stressful life.  Exercise will prevent you from sitting and eating mindlessly as you watch television or over-think your divorce.

Not only will exercise keep you from eating constantly, but it will burn the calories you do eat.  Getting up and moving, even if it simply taking your dog for a walk, will up elevate your mood and help you avoid depression and anxiety.

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which help you get through tough times in your life.  These chemicals fight off depression and can help you sleep and feel more relaxed.  Since the stress of your divorce can affect sleeping habits, this can be a great way to help you cope with your divorce.  Aerobic exercise is the fastest way to release these much-needed chemicals in your brain.

Because deep, slow breathing is another way to help you cope with the stress of your divorce, weight resistant exercises can be an excellent way to practice this.  As you use the weights, you need to concentrate on moving slowly and deliberately while inhaling long, slow breaths.  You will exhale just as slowly as you lower the weights.  The concentration you need to keep your rhythms will help relax your body even as you tone your muscles.

Exercise can be addictive.  Once your body feels the endorphins, it will begin to crave them.  Anyone who exercises a lot knows the feeling, also known as “runner’s high.”  Don’t worry – you are not actually high, it is just your body’s way of getting you to keep moving.

As you go through your divorce, you will probably have trouble sleeping, feel stress and perhaps eat too much to fight the depression.  Exercise will alleviate all of these problems and you do not have to join an expensive gym to do it.  Walk around your block, lift books, or run around and play with your children.  Anything that gets you up and moving will help you cope with your divorce.

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