Even amicable divorces can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Many people who go through a divorce experience feelings of depression, anxiety, and sadness to varying degrees. If your divorce was contested or it was a long, drawn-out process, the effects can be even worse.
Needless to say, divorce is stressful. The kind of stress caused by a divorce can have a negative impact on your mental health, but it can also cause physical issues:
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle aches
Studies have shown the relationship between health and happy marriages as well as unhappy marriages. A divorce can have a direct impact on your overall well-being and may even cause you to experience chronic pain.
According to the CDC, an estimated 50 million adults in the U.S. deal with chronic pain, and the causes vary. If you started to experience regular pain after your divorce, it’s important to know how to cope with it in healthy, productive ways that can help you to find relief.
Here’s How to Deal With Chronic Pain After Divorce
Create Healthy Routines
Though it’s important to take some time for yourself after a divorce, you’ll eventually get back into the daily routine of your normal life. For many people, that means going back to work. Often, work can be a welcomed distraction from negative thoughts, and it can keep you busy throughout the day.
It’s what you fill your time with after work, on weekends, and whenever you have extra free time that can really help you to feel better – or worse. Long-term stress can cause even more problems with your immune system and trigger pain within your body. Developing healthy routines and habits will help you to reduce stress and fight flare-ups of chronic pain. Try some of the following healthy habits to fill your free time and to reduce stress:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Pick up old hobbies or find a new one
- Practice self-care
- Get enough rest
- Reach out to those you love for support
In addition to fighting stress, it’s also important to find ways to cope with what you’re feeling. Unfortunately, far too many people turn to coping mechanisms like alcohol or substances to numb their feelings. These are temporary “fixes” that will only end up making things worse, and they could even end up causing you more pain. In these cases, trying something different including therapy can help you to learn better coping techniques so you can manage your mental health before focusing on your physical pain.
Try Natural Remedies
It can be difficult to deal with the everyday effects of chronic pain after divorce without some kind of help. While managing your mental health should be a priority, treating the pain itself can give you the wherewithal to de-stress and clear your mind.
Many people don’t want to put themselves at risk when it comes to some of the dangerous side effects of over-the-counter painkillers or even prescription drugs that could easily become addictive. Choosing natural options for pain relief can help you to avoid some of those negative side effects and find the relief your body deserves. Some of the most effective natural painkillers include the following:
- Willow bark
- Alternating heat and ice
CBD oil has also become increasingly popular for pain as a natural alternative to traditional medications. Whether it’s used through the inhalation of vapor or in a topical cream, CBD can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain without any harmful side effects.
Using technology to deal with pain may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it can actually be an incredibly useful resource when it comes to finding relief and making your life easier. Some solutions like the wearable Quell device help your body to block pain signals and can even track everything from your sleep cycles to pain management.
Other technological advancements can make everyday tasks easier for you so you can maintain your quality of life while dealing with chronic pain. Self-driving or autonomous cars that can park for you or offer self-correcting steering. That can be a big help if you struggle to do things like look over your shoulder or move your arms a certain way.
Even using a fitness tracker like FitBit or an Apple Watch can help you to monitor your healthy habits and remind you to take care of yourself every day. These things can help to make it easier to manage your pain. Many wearable devices will track your sleep, movement, and heart rate among other things. Having a visual to look at each day is often a big motivation to keep moving forward and work toward managing your pain.
Remember: divorce impacts everyone differently. If you’re experiencing chronic pain as a result of the stress from your divorce, you’re not alone. If the pain becomes too much to handle, talk with a medical professional about even more ways to find relief, and take your life back once again.