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Sleep, stress and support: divorce and wellbeing

In the first article in our innovative series, we looked at how the upheaval of divorce could have a major impact on our diet and in turn, on our emotional state and mental health.

In this second article, LGFL Director Rita Gupta and Kay Kaur.dipNT, mBANT, mCNHC, a Registered Nutritionist & Health Coach discuss the major disruption divorce can cause to our physical wellbeing, and seven practical ways to reduce that impact.

 

1. Regular Exercise

Exercise isn’t just great for your stamina. Science has shown it can be as effective as an anti-depressant alongside a whole food diet. It’s incredibly important for your mental health too, as exercising releases endorphins, helping you manage stress and anxiety.

Rita says: I am very aware that as a busy family lawyer, my clients are relying on me for advice, support and to achieve the best outcomes in divorce for them, their children and their future. I find that lunchtime walks assist me and the team to switch off and reset so I am much better placed to help my clients.

 

2. Quality Sleep

Stressful periods can disrupt your sleep. Establishing a restful environment and a consistent bedtime routine is crucial for your mental health. Sleep hygiene is a great way help induce good quality sleep. Avoid blue light from phones and gadgets in the evening. Essential oils like lavender can help you to fall asleep easier; apply two or three drops to your pillowcase to help you drift off to sleep. You can also dab them on your wrists or on the temples of your head.

A soak in a bath can help you to relax. I personally recommend adding a few handfuls of magnesium bath salts, as magnesium really is nature’s tranquilliser.

Rita says: Sleep deprivation can seriously affect our judgement the next day. Sustained lack of sleep can leave you over-tired, emotional and with low energy levels. It’s important to take time to gently wind down, and not get wound up by any late-night posts. Nothing is so urgent in a non-abusive divorce that it cannot wait until the morning. I am always concerned when clients are reading complex documents relating to their case and providing instructions late or in the middle of the night.

 

3. The Gut-Brain Connection

A healthy gut contributes to better mental health. Incorporating probiotics (good bacteria) and prebiotics can support your gut health, which in turn aids your emotional wellbeing. Fermented foods like Greek yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and fermented tofu are great options. Onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas are great prebiotics which feed the probiotics.

Rita says: Research is increasingly discovering the link between gut health and mental health. For more information, see the work of Dr Tim Spector at ZOE.

 

 

 

4. Stress Reduction Techniques

Practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can be powerful tools for managing stress and anxiety.

Rita says: Sometimes it can feel like there is precious little ‘me’ time during a divorce, especially if you have children. Meditation and yoga gives you back some quality ‘me’ time when you can be in the moment as yourself, not as a client, a parent, or a soon-to-be-ex, but just you.

 

5. Social Support

Never underestimate the power of social support. Reach out to friends, family, or join support groups. Having fun and joy is a necessity.

Rita says: Absolutely! Find people who are pragmatic and positive, empathetic and forward thinking, and trustworthy. Choose people who won’t take what you say and post it on social media or feed it back to your ex-partner…

 

6. Professional Help

Remember, it’s okay to seek professional help. Therapists or counsellors can offer valuable support and coping strategies.

Rita says: At LGFL, we are building a network of professionals who can support our clients through the life-changing process of divorce. In my experience, those who do seek professional help seem to manage stress better than those who dismiss the idea whilst struggling to cope.

 

7. Self-Compassion

Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Healing takes time, and self-compassion is key.

Rita says: Divorce is not about the past, it’s about the future for you, your children, your family and your future. But most importantly, you.

 

Do you need help with divorce?

Contact us to book your initial one-hour fixed fee consultation with us. This gives you plenty of time to discuss your situation and receive valuable legal advice, in complete confidence and with no obligation. The majority of divorcing people who come to LGFL for an initial hour of advice do decide to engage us, for a better divorce experience with less hassle and full professional support.

Call us

Email us

Book your consultation online

 

You can discover more about Kay and her work at:

www.inspirenutrition.uk

Instagram: @inspirenutritionuk

Or call her to make an appointment: 03337 729 406