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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

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

LGFL Managing Director Rita Gupta explores how a recent celebrity example highlights the emotional, mental and physical effects divorce can have.

As his mother says on a current advertisement, "You're everywhere". Certainly, from "X Factor" contestant in 2012 to host of "Strictly: It Takes Two", Radio 2 presenter to TV host for Eurovision 2023, it's hard to miss Rylan Clark.

Setting aside his usual bubbly style, the TV presenter opened up last autumn about the effect of divorce on his mental health whilst on a hike for Comic Relief.In a previous statement, Rylan had explained how his admission of previous infidelity "years ago" to his then husband in May 2021 broke their marriage apart.

"I have made a number of mistakes which I deeply regret and have inevitably led to the breakdown of our marriage. I have taken time away from work as I am not in a good place at the moment and am seeking help. I am trying to take each day at a time and would like to thank everyone for their support."

The divorce aftermath almost broke him too, with the celebrity experiencing emotional turmoil and physical health issues including drinking, weight loss and two cardiac incidents

Rylan is now divorced from his husband of six years, former Big Brother contestant Dan Neal, and the presenter says he is now "so much stronger".

"I would like to think the breakdown of my marriage had made me the person I am now. I am really happy with the person I am now and I can sleep very well at night."

 

Post-breakup advice

When interviewed on the publication of his book last year, (3) Rylan's advice on reviewing his ten years in the spotlight and his relationship breakdown was surprisingly simple:

"Always trust your gut. Go for it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And always get a pre-nup."

In many ways, that is sound advice for anyone considering divorce, celebrity or otherwise. From our experience as family lawyers, divorce is nearly always an emotional rollercoaster. It will have a considerable impact on you, your family, and your finances. So, to take Rylan’s advice in turn:

 

“Always trust your gut”

The first step is to recognise there is an issue with your relationship. Until that happens, no action can be taken - but nothing can be resolved either. You might want to consider counselling or mediation at this point, to help you work through issues as a couple. (More on mediation below.)

If you are experiencing domestic violence, abuse or coercive control, please always "trust your gut". The time to act is NOW.

    • Call 999 and if possible, get yourself and your children to a place of safety.
    • Women: Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
    • Men: Call the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or the Mankind National Helpline on 01823 334244.
    • Once you’re safe, contact us for professional legal advice on how to proceed.

 

“Go for it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise”

In terms of divorce, we'd always advise a measured and informed approach over an ill-considered spur of the moment decision. If you feel that separation and divorce is the right way forward for you and your family, it's important to take time to understand exactly what that will involve.

By all means talk to friends and family, but don’t open it up for Facebook debate or consult “lawyer Google”. Every divorce is different, and another person's experience isn't always relevant to yours. That’s why LGFL offer a reduced fee one-hour advice consultation to give you the opportunity to discuss you concerns and receive sound legal advice.

 

Always get a pre-nup

This comment by Rylan hints at difficulties he and his ex-husband may have had agreeing their financial settlement. A pre-nup is a way of ensuring that there is both a record and a recognition of what each person brought to the relationship in financial terms. It should also lay down what each party agrees to in terms of division of assets should they divorce in the future. For more details, see our article on pre-nups, or call to book an appointment.

 

Thank everyone for their (continuing) support

Support from family and friends is an essential part of life beyond divorce, a status that Rylan admitted he found lonely. As our article on post-divorce support discusses, after you separate, your social, family and even work landscapes will be quite different. Having a support network in place will help you deal with both emotional and logistical issues, and help you move forward with your life.

 

Mediation and divorce

If you decide to proceed with a divorce as a couple, mediation can help you sort out differences before you got to a solicitor or family lawyer. Mediation is not a legal requirement before separation or divorce, but as the Citizens Advice Bureau says:

"If you end up having to go to court to sort out your differences, you normally need to prove you’ve been to a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM). This is an introductory meeting to explain what mediation is and how it might help you ... You can’t force your ex-partner to go to mediation."

 

Considering getting divorced?

Talking to us first before applying online or similar can help put your situation into perspective. 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 consultation online

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and given the continued restrictions, the theme of kindness is particularly appropriate. If you’re struggling with your mental health through lockdown, or are concerned about a family member, friend or neighbour, our latest helpline guide has links to organisations who are there for you.
Download the PDF here:

 

Research has shown that by helping others, you will also be helping yourself. According to the Mental Health Foundation: “People who are kind and compassionate see clear benefits to their wellbeing and happiness. They may even live longer. Kindness can also help reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing.”

Check out their guide to being kind at: Kindness Matters Guide

 

According to a survey done by The Priory, 40% of men won’t talk about their own mental health. The good news is that the same survey showed that 66% would share their feelings with their partner above anyone else.

So, if you think your male partner is struggling, talk to him. Use our helpline sheet to find the kind of professional support he may need. GP’s are open for business and ready to help anyone struggling with their mental health. Before the pandemic, the biggest cause of pressure men felt under was work-related.

As the UK starts return to work, that pressure will return, whether through returning to work, concern over a job post-furlough, or trying to restore a business.

See the survey by the Priory

Domestic violence has a major impact on mental health, now and into the future lives of you and your children. Any form of domestic abuse is not acceptable. Use the restriction exception to ‘cool off’ at another home with friends or family. If you are in danger, remove yourself and your children immediately - the police can and will help you.

As experienced family lawyers we too can help. Our website has two pages of advice on what to do next, with a separate page for male and female victims.

See our pages on:

Domestic abuse against women

Domestic abuse against men

 

Concerned about the effect of lockdown on your child’s mental health? Action for Children have developed the M-A-S-K list of signs of metal health issues in children - Mood, Actions, Social, Keep Talking. If you are worried, call the Young Minds parents helpline on 0808 802 5544, or check out their website. As their slogan says “The sooner, the better”.

See MASK page here

 

Finally

For here’s Rita’s thoughts on maintaining good mental health, in particular during family breakdowns.


 

 
 
 

MAIN RESOURCE
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

As part of Mental Health Awareness week and in keeping with LGFL’s holistic approach to family law, we continue to highlight important issues facing those that are separating.

In this collaborative article with registered RTT therapist Emma Buckell, LGFL Director Rita Gupta discusses the importance of addressing the emotional elements of separation, and how Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) can help.

 

Support when it’s most needed

Being able to access support in these days of lockdown and the remote world of the future has never been so important. It is vital that this invaluable support isn’t too time-restrictive, and can be delivered effectively online rather than in person. We asked Emma how RTT can help in these circumstance.

“Initially, you might find your thoughts are tied up in legal proceedings or finalising financial arrangements. However, the emotional impact of untying the bond with a partner doesn’t just go away once the documents are filed. Life as you know it has changed, and you have to find your new normal. This can leave you feeling raw and vulnerable.”

Emma says that many clients have conflicting thoughts and feelings. On one hand, they are thinking they should be happy and ready for their next chapter. On the inside, however, they are wondering:

  • What happened?
  • How did I end up here?
  • This wasn't the plan…how did I get so far off course?
  • What about my kids?
  • What about the friends that we share?
  • I feel so embarrassed and ashamed
  • I’ve let myself down, I’ve let the kids down

These are the real life human emotions that arise from a family separation process and the accompanying grief many feel.

Moving onwards

So how can clients move past this? Emma advises you to think of yourself:

“One thing to remember is that all important “I”. You are living your own life whether with, or without, a significant other. So that question of “Can I get through this?” is key. The focus is now on you to take this as an opportunity to reset the beliefs you have about yourself. Then the answer to that question becomes “I can and … I am.

If you have the right tools, you can tap into your inner coping skills to be a stronger and happier person. We all have down days, and it’s crucial to shut down any detrimental self-talk during these times. RTT enables you to erase the negative pictures that you make in your head and replace them with positive statements and happy images of how you want your life to be. The more you do this, the more you'll like it and the easier it will become."

 

Thoughts, feelings actions

Marisa Peer, founder of RTT, said that “Thoughts control feelings, feelings control actions, actions control events.” So, by changing your thoughts, you can affect real-world outcomes.

Change through modern therapy

The regimented structure of some traditional psychological methods might not be for everyone, especially for people with busy lives. Just as technology has moved on in the last decade, so has society’s approach to helping people. RTT is now recognised as one of the most successful methods for bringing about permanent changes. Emma says that often only one session is needed to put you back in control of your own happiness and life choices.

“The focus of RTT is on identifying the root of the issues that are hiding in your subconscious. You might not actually realise that there are underlying issues affecting your ability to manage your emotions in challenging situations. Your self-interpretation or beliefs could be dragged down, resulting in negative thoughts. With RTT’s multi award-winning therapy, these beliefs are reframed into a positive and energised mindset.”

 

RTT and other therapies

RTT’s success lies in its foundations of the combined principles of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, NLP and CBT. RTT unlocks the subconscious and reprograms your mind so that your reactions to hurt, trauma or rejection are permanently changed for the better. RTT enables a person’s coping mechanisms for feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem to be permanently modified and replaced by a more positive approach and mindset.

 

How RTT can help family law clients

Rita Gupta believes that for many busy working clients, or those with childcare commitments, RTT can offer invaluable support when most needed. It is easily accessible too, which is important during an otherwise hectic time.

There are also other benefits too, as Rita explains:

“Obtaining therapy can actually help reduce your legal costs as you are not looking to your lawyer to counsel you through the process. It can also help you with measured decision making and focus during a process that inevitably involves high levels of emotion.”

 

Take the time

As Emma says:

“Remember, there is only strength shown in taking the time to get to the very root of your issues to generate happiness and wellbeing.”

—//—

Emma Buckell is a registered RTT therapist and the founder of the Cleanse My Mind clinic in London.

For more information on the benefits of RTT healing, please contact emma@cleansemymind.co.uk or call the clinic on 07956 115 384.