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5 Steps To Getting Your Life Back in Control After Divorce

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Whether your friends are congratulating you or commiserating with you after you sign your divorce agreement, you’ve been through a grueling process.

It’s over and you’re single, again.

There’s often a sense of relief but you may also feel sad for the loss of a future with a life partner you thought you’d have, uncertain about how to co-parent, overwhelmed as to where to go from here, and concern about finding happiness again.

Many women feel ashamed that their marriage ended, worried about what others will think, and guilty for raising their family from two homes. The truth is, it’s completely possible to change the perception of divorce into one that’s freeing, emboldening, and empowering. Going through a divorce is a calling card for getting your life back on track. It starts with figuring out what your stressors are and what’s out of balance in your life.

DIVORCE RANKS #2 AS THE MOST STRESSFUL LIFE EVENT


Your body most likely feels symptoms of stress from your divorce. You might….

  • have gained (or lost) weight and nothing fits

  • be up at 3am and it’s not always because you have to pee

  • crave all the wrong foods but can’t do anything about it

  • *need* to start your day with caffeine and end it with alcohol

  • feel overwhelmed about prioritizing everything you need to do

  • have anxiety and second guess your decisions

  • live a secret life dating because you haven’t told your kids yet

  • want to exercise more but just can’t make it a consistent part of your day

  • experience embarrassing digestion problems

  • don’t trust anyone and don’t want to get hurt again

  • want to have a good relationship with your ex but need firm boundaries to avoid falling in the same emotional potholes ​


These are all signs that your body has not healed from the stress of divorce and if left unattended could lead to serious complications in the years to come.

WHY IS STRESS FROM DIVORCE SO BAD?

It can lead to many physical and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, food cravings, sleep problems, weight gain or loss, skin blemishes, thinning hair, chronic fatigue, internal inflammation, lack of motivation to exercise, and hormone imbalances. Living in this heightened “fight or flight” mode reduces your body’s ability to properly detoxify as well.

For me, my stress manifested as severe back pain. After months sleeping in the basement while our agreement was being finalized, I couldn’t even take a deep breath without a bolt of pain wrapping around my lower back. It was impossible to sleep. With no energy, there was no chance I could motivate to exercise. I was grumpy and snappy and by 3pm, I needed caffeine and cookies to get through the evening.

This went on for months and I was a hot mess.

THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU CAN HEAL FROM THE STRESS OF DIVORCE


I changed careers, went back to school and became an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I used yoga and meditation to alleviate my stress and get my sleep in a better place. While sorting out my career, home environment, and sleep issues, I was able to make better food choices. I made an effort to eat clean, whole foods. I reduced my consumption of processed foods and chemical ingredients, discovered what foods caused me sensitivity, and removed toxic chemicals from my personal care and home cleaning products.

This two-pronged approach of balancing my lifestyle and food choices allowed me to get my life back in control so I could thrive after the stress of divorce. And now I do the same for others.

A qualified integrative nutrition health coach who specializes in dealing with divorced women can guide you in fixing what’s not working to a point where you feel fulfilled and can make good food choices. Not everyone will have the same limiting factors. That’s why a proper assessment is needed so the healing can begin. Everyone is different and everyone will heal at their own rate.

WHERE DO YOU START? FOLLOW THESE STEPS.


Step #1: Identify your strongest lifestyle factors.

A good integrative nutrition health coach will help you see the positives in your life. While it might not seem like it right now, we all have areas in our lives that are going well. Maybe you love to cook and find it a great stress reliever or perhaps you love your career and have supportive co-workers. It’s important to recognize areas that are going well. Knowing there’s something positive in your life will make you realize that other areas can become fulfilling as well, they just might need some more attention to get there.

Step #2: Pinpoint 2-3 areas in your life that are your weakest.

This will be your starting point on your journey to getting your life back in control after the stress of divorce. When the list is focused and a plan can be put in place, it’s not so overwhelming. When those areas are balanced, move on to the next weakest ones.

Step #3: Work with an integrative nutrition health coach to address those weak areas.

After the upheaval of divorce, it helps to have someone guide you, keep you focused and on track, put a plan in place, and encourage you. That kind of accountability is what brings permanent lasting results. Most people can’t stick to a workout routine long term without the guidance and support of a trainer. Doing it on your own, with an ap, or online videos only gets you so far. Integrative nutrition is no different. Having a health coach is the difference between achieving results or continuing on an unproductive path of negative self-talk.

Step #4: Set SMART goals

Make goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When you set effective goals, you’ll achieve more. Goals provide focus, enhance productivity, boost self-esteem, and increase commitment. You’ll be amazed that you often can achieve more than what you intended when you’re working with a professional.

I have seen miraculous results with my clients once they stop getting caught up in what they think they should be doing and instead make sure their goals align with their future vision and core desires.

Step #5: Schedule a Consistent Time for Accountability

Meeting your health coach on a regular basis will hold you accountable to your goals and keep you on track to achieving them. Show up ready and coachable. Having an open mind to new activities, ways of planning meals and identifying foods that properly nourish you, learning new methods for making behavior changes, and testing out new approaches to problems are some of the things that will get you where you want to be.


It's not about surviving a divorce; it's about thriving afterward.

Suzy Wood is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Owner of True Wellness Within who works with newly single adults on navigating their future by finding more balance, increasing energy, reducing food cravings and building confidence.

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