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Looking after No1: divorce and wellbeing

Divorce is a time of rapid change and considerable upheaval, which can take a toll on our emotional state and mental health. However, it can also take a considerable toll on our physical health, with meals skipped or not eating properly due to lack of time and stress.

In this innovative joint article, the first of two, LGFL Director Rita Gupta and Kay Kaur dipNT, mBANT, mCNHC, a Registered Nutritionist & Health Coach join forces to discuss the impact divorce can have on our physical wellbeing. Drawing on their own expertise and real-world experiences, they discuss why it’s important not to underestimate the impact on your emotional health.

Kay Kaur:

As a nutritionist, I see the impact suddenly having a poor diet has on people’s ability to function at their normal mental and physical capacity. If your diet changes, it will affect your brain function, energy levels, and ultimately, your ability to manage and emerge from your divorce in a better frame of mind.

For many of us, our diet is a response to emotional state. If we are feeling upset or sad, we may well turn to “comfort eating” of food with high sugar and/or carbohydrate content. Stress can also make us feel that we don’t want to eat, and when we do, we tend to snack rather than prepare and eat a balanced diet.

Here are my top tips for spotting if your “divorce eating habits” are affecting your mood, your capacity to deal with emotions and your general mental and physical health.

1: Blood Sugar Balancing

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is important. Erratic blood sugar can exacerbate mood swings and stress. To keep your blood sugars relatively even, aim for a diet balanced with 20-30g of proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Include healthy fats and protein for your snack options too.

Rita says: Time spent dealing with your separation, discussing your case with your legal team and any potential court hearings can affect your ability and desire to eat at your normal times.

Court hearings can be a long and tiring day for all of us. You may not feel like eating due to nerves or apprehension, but it's important not to skip breakfast. Equally, come to court prepared with water and snacks to sustain you through the day. One way to keep your blood sugar level (and a level head too!) is to pair dried fruit with some nuts as a snack, to slow down the glucose spike into your bloodstream. Just in case, at LGFL we usually bring snacks as part of our support to clients at court.

 

2. Emotional Balance

Your diet plays a crucial role in how you feel. Foods rich in nutrients like leafy greens, nuts, and seeds will boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the so-called happy hormone, helping to stabilise mood swings common during divorce.

Rita says: As a family lawyer, I see first-hand evidence of how mood swings can affect my clients throughout the day and night. I always encourage clients to NOT send emails in the middle of the night. This is when mood swings can adversely affect what they type or post on social media and even the quality of the instructions they give. I shall now also suggest they have a nut and seed mix next to their laptop or phone, just in case…

 

3. Hydration

Keeping yourself hydrated is essential. Dehydration can negatively impact your mood and cognitive function, which are already under strain during stressful times. Limit your tea and coffee intake: they contain caffeine and tannin which acts as a diuretic.

Also, invest in a nice colourful glass bottle or an Air-Up type bottle which gently flavours your water with no additives. Either will make it easier to keep on top of your optimum 2 litres a day.

Rita says: On a day when I’m meeting lots of clients in person, I could quickly end up drinking too much coffee or tea, which in turn could affect my ability to give balanced legal advice. So I always have a bottle of water on my desk, to sip during the meeting, helping keep my mind alert. We ensure clients have plenty of water available in any meetings.

 

4. Mindful Eating

Be mindful of your eating habits. Stress can lead to overeating or loss of appetite. Try to listen to your body's hunger cues and practice mindful eating so you do not compromise your health in turn.

Rita says: As a practitioner I can often see dramatic changes in my client’s weight due to erratic eating. Taking time away from the stress of a separation is essential and eating properly is vital for balance.

 

Considering getting divorced?

Talk to LGFL first for an empathetic approach and professional pragmatic legal advice. We offer a 1-hour reduced fee consultation to discuss your specific circumstances and concerns. We aim to give you tailored legal advice and information, so you can proceed in the best way for you, your children and your future.

- Call us

- Email us

- Book your appointment 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