For whatever reason, there is still a stigma surrounding men’s mental health.
When a man experiences a divorce, those health risks become even more pronounced.
Numerous studies prove men face higher risks of physical and mental health issues after divorce. This can include higher rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, suicide, substance abuse and cancer.
One of the most staggering statistics regarding this topic is that divorce increases the rate of early mortality for men by up to 250 percent.
Divorce is inherently stressful. That is typically unavoidable, even in breakups that end amicably. But there are steps men can take to make sure they take care of themselves during this trying time. Doing so can help speed the divorce recovery process.
Reach out for help
One of the most common mistakes men make during divorce is trying to tackle everything on their own.
There are various reasons why men have this tendency. Some of them have to do with societal norms. It’s natural for many men to try to internalize their emotions and put up a strong front even though their destroyed on the inside.
The fact is, emotional turmoil is often cited as the most unexpectedly difficult part of divorce. If you start to feel overwhelmed, it is critical that you reach out for help.
Counselors and therapists can play a key role in helping you come to grips with all this. There are also many divorce support groups and online forums that can offer support. If you’re a spiritual person, your pastor can be a great shoulder to lean on.
You also probably don’t want to go around talking about your breakup with everyone, but you should develop a tight circle of friends and family you trust who you can vent to.
Take some time for self-reflection
While you shouldn’t sit around and dwell on why your marriage ended or why you’re in your current situation, a divorce should be a time for some self-reflection.
One of the ways psychologists recommend coping with divorce stress is through the practice of mindful meditation.
Taking a few quiet minutes each day to acknowledge your experience and emotions is a healthy practice that can help you come to terms with what you’re going through.
If this concept is new to you, check out this step-by-step guide on meditating for beginners.
Avoid self-destructive habits
There are many unhealthy habits men often develop during divorce that can derail their recovery process.
Those are temporary fixes at best and will almost certainly make things much worse for you in the long run.
Exercise and eat healthy
It’s common for men to sort of let themselves go once their marriage ends. You’ll probably go through a stretch where you just want to lounge on the couch with some pizza and Netflix.
But exercise and a balanced diet increase the amount of healthy chemicals in your brain and that is one of the most effective ways to fight against depression.
This can also help you to sleep better and boost your self-esteem.
It’s not easy, but establish a routine. Schedule a set time each day for a daily workout. Plan out your meals so you’re getting the nutrients you need. And do what you can to get plenty of sleep.
When you’ve been trapped in a relationship it is common to take on your partner’s characteristics. One of the positive parts of divorce is that you are now entirely free to be the individual you want to be.
You can use this time to reinvent yourself. Pick up a new hobby. Take a trip somewhere. Buy some new clothes.
You can do whatever floats your boat, because now you’re free to be the person you want to be.