Ashton Kutcher divorced from Demi Moore in 2013. He recently discussed the unique way he moved on from that divorce.
ASHTON KUTCHER DISCUSSES DIVORCE FROM DEMI
“Right after I got divorced, I went to the mountains for a week by myself,” Kutcher, 40, said during a recent interview. “I did no food, no drink — just water and tea. I took all my computers away, my phone, my everything. I was there by myself, so there was no talking. I just had a notepad, a pen and water and tea — for a week.” The actor also practiced Tai Chi as part of his cleanse. He also took the time to heal from every other relationship he’s been in. During the time he wrote letters to every person he’d ever been in a relationship with. “I wrote down every single relationship that I had where I felt like there was some grudge or some anything, regret, anything. And I wrote letters to every single person, and on day seven, I typed them all out and then sent them,” he said. The actor compared the process to an Alcoholics Anonymous exercise. Kutcher went on to say his post-divorce trip was “really spiritual and kind of awesome.” Kutcher married actress Mila Kunis in July 2015. The two have two children together.
SELF CARE DURING DIVORCE
Divorce is not only a difficult time in a person’s life, but it can also be emotionally traumatic. The relationship with your spouse and the structure of your lives that you helped establish in what you thought would be a happily-ever-after marriage has ended. What are the next steps and the things that will help you get back that feeling you call “normal”? Although you may not realize it, there are some things you can do to get back there.
SELF CARE DURING DIVORCE: HOW-TO
According to Natalie Greggs, a family law attorney from Allen, Texas, “Self-care is the number one thing that gets you through the day.” Though she is a family law attorney and not a therapist, she advises clients that self-care is the best method to get them through this rough time.
SELF-CARE IS FUTURE WELL-BEING
Self-care is more than just a way to get through each day while you go through your divorce. Self-care is also crucial for the well-being of your future as well. Numerous studies indicate that stress is a cause of long-term health problems. Research also indicates that individuals going through a divorce have a heightened risk for some long-term chronic health problems. This research is even scarier when faced with the fact that experts mention that 40-50% of all marriages end in divorce.
KEEPING SANE DURING YOUR DIVORCE
Here are some self-care tips to practice while you go through a divorce:
Exercise. Even if you’re not going through a divorce, exercise is good for you. For people going through traumatic times, it is especially helpful. Exercise encourages your body to produce endorphins, a feel-good chemical for the brain. Certified integrative nutrition coach and personal trainer Lindsay Hunt, says exercise also helps increase self-confidence, improves sleep, reduces anxiety symptoms, and reduces stress and depression. Any form involving physical movement is helpful such as walking, dancing, swimming, and yoga. The trick is to find something you really enjoy doing. That way chances are you’ll want to keep doing it often and on a regular basis. Another tip is to find a friend or “workout buddy” to help encourage you to get off that couch and get moving. They can also encourage you be holding you accountable for getting up and out.
Change Your Diet Up. When people are faced with emotional issues it can cause you to lose and/or gain weight. Divorce can increase these ups and down, making them go out of control. You can go from one extreme to another, from completely restricting meals to binging on unhealthy foods. “I had a slender client who, over the course of a year, proceeded to lose probably 50 pounds,” remembers Greggs. “By the end of his case, she was skeletal.” While some may lose weight, others can gain. Mikki Meyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said she had a client who ended up gaining almost 100 pounds. Hunt suggests trying to be proactive and preemptive about both diet as well as divorce. Diet has a big part in affecting your mood, which is important during a divorce. Hunt reveals, “Eating the right foods may ease depression and calm anxiety.” He recommends eating three meals a day consisting of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Having a variety like this helps keep blood sugar levels stable as well as helping to prevent dips leading to cravings. Studies also show that diets high in antioxidants help with depression. So fill that plate high with fruit and veggies. When changing your diet it’s best to try avoiding sugar, salty foods, artificial ingredients, excessive caffeine consumption, and especially alcohol. According to studies, dehydration tends to increase stress hormone levels. Because of this, Hunt recommends drinking lots of water.
MORE HEALTHY FOODS FOR YOUR BRAIN
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty wild fish such as salmon, and nuts, can help brain function and improves your mood. Steel-cut oatmeal also adds serotonin-boosting complex carbohydrates. It is also a comfort food. If you seem to have trouble eating, you might think about drinking your nutrition. You can make bone broth into a soup that’s filled with minerals like magnesium. Your body can easily absorb and helps promotes healthy digestion for upset stomachs. Another way to get nutrition if you have trouble eating is protein shakes. Green vegetable juices are also a good source of nutrition. You can also try taking smaller bites of protein and healthy fats such as eggs, nuts, and avocados. This will help you so you don’t lose too much weight. According to Hunt, “It is important to feed your body even if you are not hungry, as our immune systems become extremely vulnerable and weak during times of sadness and stress. Finding foods that are comforting and easy to get down is important for your health.”
Try to Keep to a Normal Schedule. Even if it’s hard to return to a normal schedule, it’s important to try. Greggs says, “Consistency is important for your emotional health. Show up to work on time. Have your routine. Make [yourself] and your children go to bed when you usually go to bed. Don’t act like the divorce is ending your life.”
Get Sunshine. Sunlight boosts vitamin D which your body needs for natural processes and for increasing serotonin levels. Hunt advises, “Aim for sunlight every day.” Studies indicate at least 15 minutes every day is helpful.
Be Preventative where Your Health is Concerned. Sociology Professor and director of the Population Research Center Mark Hayward, from the University of Texas—Austin, has researched the long-term health effects and discovered stress from divorce accelerates biological processes that can lead to cardiovascular disease. He has found that divorced, middle-aged women tend to be more likely to develop heart disease compared with non-divorced, middle-aged married women.
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