I always say divorce is a train wreck. It damages everything it touches. Everything is in flux and out of whack in a divorce.
This creates stress. Lots of stress.
Many people deal with this stress by drinking too much, isolating themselves from family and friends, or abandoning their faith.
None of these is a healthy way to deal with stress. Instead, they actually increase stress and are ultimately destructive.
The key to dealing effectively with stress in divorce is to engage in reparative activities (as opposed to the destructive ones above). You can’t recover from divorce by destroying yourself, your family, or your community.
And what are these reparative activities?
Exercise is a great one. (I’ve written on this before. Click here if you would like to read that post.) Eating healthy is essential generally, and especially important when going through divorce. Staying close to family and your faith community is vital as well.
The morning walk
Beyond all those, I want to take a moment and focus on one simple thing you can do everyday that will help you deal with your stress: Walk in the morning.
That’s right. Walking in the morning is an excellent way to deal with stress.
You might have to adjust your schedule and get up a bit earlier to make this happen, but it’s well worth it.
Morning walks give you space to work out what’s in your head before it clutters up with the day-to-day that you inevitably have to deal with later on. You can address your fear and worries with yourself during your walk, and you’ll be amazed at how you’ll gain control over them by doing this.
If you just can’t be left alone with your thoughts yet, listening to a podcast is a great way to occupy your mind during a walk. Audio book are another great option. If you are a person of faith, listening to scripture, talks, or sermons makes for very productive morning walks.
You can walk with other people if you want as well. A group walk provides the opportunity to talk-and-walk, which strengthens friendships.
Suggestions for a successful morning walk
- Walk the same route every day. The reason is after you’ve walked the route a few times you don’t have to think about it anymore. (It’s kind of like driving to work the same way every day; you stop thinking about driving after a while.)
- Walk at the same time every morning. To get the maximum beneficial effects, you’ll need to be consistent with walks. Setting a daily time will help you create that consistency.
- Eat or drink a little something before you walk. You don’t need to be dehydrated or hungry during your walk. It will distract you during your walk.
- Walk before you do anything else in the morning. If you do other stuff first, you’ll get distracted and not go on walks.
You’ll be surprised at how helpful walks are if you’ll do them consistently.
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