3 Ways a Divorce Can Affect Your Physical and Mental Health

In the United States, more than 40 percent of married couples get divorced. Going through a divorce involves much more than moving to a new residence and buying new furniture. A divorce prompts significant changes that can have a long-term impact on your health. Here are a few ways divorce could impact someone’s life. 

1. You May Lose Your Health Insurance

Most couples have their health insurance on a family plan. Often, this is set up through one person’s workplace. After a divorce, the other partner may lose their health insurance. Many people do not have access to health insurance plans through their jobs. The plans may be too expensive, or may not cover all of the individual’s needs. If you find yourself in this situation, you can purchase indemnity health insurance to cover your short-term health care needs until you are able to secure long-term coverage. It’s important to focus on your physical health during your divorce and retain your health insurance because it can be impacted in ways you may not realize. 

Divorced individuals have a 20 percent greater risk of getting cancer or heart disease. Although remarrying may mitigate the health risks, anyone who has experienced divorced is still more likely to develop serious health issues. Other common health issues that divorced people are more likely to be affected by include diabetes and mobility issues. Reasons for the increased risk can include a lapse in self-care or health insurance. Other factors may include poor eating habits during a divorce. You may struggle with depression and a lack of interest in working out or engaging in other physical activities. 

2. You May Lose Friends and Family

Married couples often befriend other married couples. People are naturally drawn to others who are at similar stages in their life. When a couple builds their social circle and focuses on other couples, a divorce can have a significant impact. Your friends may want to focus on socializing with other couples, so they may stop inviting you out. People are also inclined to take sides and may choose to continue associating with your former spouse instead of you. It’s also hard for others to deal with a person’s grief, which can cause friends to distance themselves from friends who are divorcing.

You may feel isolated during and after your divorce due to the loss of a spouse and the loss of friendships. Seeing a marriage counselor prior to your decision to divorce may help you evaluate your relationship. In some cases, couples can repair a relationship with the help of counseling. Even if you decide to divorce it’s a good idea to continue seeing your counselor. They can help you process the changes in your life as you transition from being married to being single. You can also talk to them about other relationships that are affected by your divorce. Depression is common during and after a divorce, and having someone to talk to can help you address and overcome mental health challenges stemming from your divorce.

3. You Will Experience Stress

Divorce has been ranked as the second most stressful life event that people may experience. One of the reasons divorces are stressful is because they often include other stressful experiences, such as conflict with your inlaws and moving to a different residence. You may also experience health issues as a result of lifestyle changes. The loss of friendships during this time can also have a significant impact on your mental health and your activities because you may not have peers to engage with socially.

Stress wreaks havoc on a person’s mental and physical health. A person who is under stress is more likely to experience chronic pain, such as back pain. There is also a direct relationship between being under stress and developing diseases such as diabetes. People under stress are more likely to have gastrointestinal issues, asthma, and high blood pressure. Managing your stress levels during your divorce can help you mitigate these risks. Try to eat healthily and avoid any major changes in your eating habits. Stay active. Exercise can help you reduce your stress levels and avoid other complications from stress, such as weight gain or chronic pain. Meditating is also a good way to reduce your stress levels and maintain both your physical and mental wellbeing.