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divorced dad health tipsIf you are a dad who is going through the divorce process, transitioning to single parenthood can be a challenging process. As you deal with the many legal and financial issues that must be addressed to legally end your marriage, cope with moving to a new home and making changes in your life, and figure out how to maintain a good relationship with your children while sharing child custody with your ex, you’ll probably experience a great deal of stress, and your health may suffer. This is understandable, but it’s a concern that you’re going to want to address, since studies have found that the mortality rate for single fathers is three times higher than for dads who are married or in a partnership.

Focus on Your Physical and Mental Health

By taking care of your health and wellness, you can not only live a longer and happier life, but you can make sure you will be able to be the best dad you can be for your kids. You can make a number of positive changes to your lifestyle as you adjust to your new life as a single dad, including:

  • Exercise regularly - Being physically active is good for your heart, lungs, and other parts of your body, and it can also boost your overall energy while providing benefits for your mental health. Even if you are unable to visit the gym on a regular basis, you can find ways to exercise at home by walking or jogging outside, playing sports, or using online apps to create a home workout routine. You can also get exercise while spending time with your kids, such as by using a stroller when walking or jogging, taking bike rides together, or enjoying physical games and activities.

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new years resolutions for divorced dadsAt the beginning of every year, many people make resolutions related to parts of their lives that they hope to change in the coming months. While many resolutions fall by the wayside after a few weeks, the new year can be a great opportunity for dads who recently went through a divorce to work on the healing process and continue to adjust to the ways their lives have changed. Single dads may want to consider making some or all of the following resolutions as they continue to build a new life for themselves:

  1. Work on being a good co-parent - Even if the wounds of your divorce are still fresh, you’ll most likely need to maintain contact with your ex-spouse and work together to make sure you are both meeting your children’s needs. While you may not exactly be friendly with your ex, you can still work on communicating with each other and ensuring that you are both informed about what’s going on in your kids’ lives. You can also find ways to be flexible when necessary and adjust to changing schedules that affect when and where you pick up or drop off your kids or participate in their activities.

  2. Focus on putting your children first - It’s understandable to be stressed out as you adjust to being a single parent, but one of the most important things you can do is be present in your kids’ lives as much as possible. While you can’t control what happens when they aren’t with you, you can make a commitment to focus on them during your parenting time. By talking to your kids, playing with them, enjoying activities together, helping with their homework, and giving them your full attention, you can continue to build a positive relationship that will last a lifetime.

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Mental health tips for divorced dads“Challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the past several months for millions of households across the country. If you have recently gone through a divorce, that alone can do a number on your mental health. Add in all of the changes and difficulties brought about by COVID-19, and you might be dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and other issues. The following tips can help divorced fathers foster their mental health as they navigate the challenges of this difficult time.

Look into Your Options

Obtaining mental health services can make a big difference in difficult times.

  • Read the details of your insurance plan to see whether therapy, counseling, and other services are covered.
  • If you have Medicare, review your policy to see what is covered; for example, Medicare Part B covers a range of mental health services.
  • If you currently have no health insurance, see if any local colleges, clinics, or other institutions are providing free services.

Boost Your Physical Health

The state of your physical health plays a major role in your mental health and overall well-being.

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Protect your health during divorceEveryone handles their divorce differently — maybe you’re grieving with the help of a large bag of potato chips or with a few beers and some friends. Getting through a divorce can be especially difficult for men, as they tend to avoid discussing emotions or seeking help from others. This is especially true in the midst of a pandemic when hanging out with friends or going to a bar are no longer on the table. Not all guys are going to be open to getting in touch with their feelings, so it can be hard to find other outlets for staying healthy, both mentally and physically. Though COVID-19 may be limiting your ability to spend time with family and friends, there are other ways you can come out on the other side of your divorce happy and healthy.

Avoid Overindulging

This is a challenge for everyone at the moment, whether single, married, or in the middle of a divorce. Now that “going to work” consists of sitting in your home with your laptop and a pair of sweatpants, it’s easy to allow yourself to indulge a little too much. Easily accessible snacks, sugary drinks, and alcoholic beverages after work can quickly become your go-to. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to take advantage of these unique circumstances and enjoy yourself, but you may not notice how much is being added to your waistline before it’s too late.

Consistency is Key

The term “consistency” can seem impossible in the middle of a global pandemic. This is especially true if your “normal” has been completely turned upside down due to your divorce. You’ll need to create your new normal in both your professional and your personal life. Try settling on a schedule that you can follow on a daily basis for the next few months. Whether this involves a workout in the morning or time set aside for new hobbies, having a schedule can help you feel more in control and less concerned with the minor details of your daily life.

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