Monday, December 13, 2010

Post-Divorce Exercise Saves Lives

Okay, I don’t mean post-divorce exercise literally saves lives, although I’m not saying it won’t save yours. But exercise is something that has often keeps us going when the going gets rough. Divorce, being a new parent, grad school, and many other difficult situations raise the stress level and necessitate decisive action to bring it down to manageable.

I took a yoga class some months after my separation, and several women in the class said yoga had saved their lives. Some were post-divorce, others had chronic health issues, but all attributed huge physical and psychic gains to the practice.

I know, I know. You don’t have time. The idea of integrating exercise into daily life in as many ways as possible is something to think about. Getting outside is another fantastic stress reducer. Together these are great for maintaining equilibrium and not allowing the stress level to creep up on you. You don’t have to spend loads of time. The trick is to figure out what works for you, even if you can only eke out 15 min. You can:

*Go to the gym right before or after work
*Walk, run bike or go to the gym at lunch
*Use the stairs instead of the elevator
*Walk or bike to your next appointment
*Schedule gym, yoga or biking time in your work-week
*Keep a yoga mat, stationary bike or exercise clothes/shoes at the office in case you get a break
*Use a jogging stroller, kiddy bike seat or baby back-pack to incorporate exercise into the work of childcare
*Use the exercise room at hotels during business trips
*Explore new cities on foot, walking or running when traveling
*Take a dance, exercise or yoga class during lunch
*Do short family/friend hikes, walks, rides and runs during the week

Choose options that will fit with your lifestyle. Have other ideas for post-divorce stress reduction? Please leave a comment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Post-Divorce: Second Chances

I heard a piece about Dave Brubeck today. In his interview with Terry Gross, he explained that he stopped piano lessons with his mother, a music teacher. He focused on his father’s love, cattle ranching and rodeo roping. Studying pre-vet in college, in his second year an astute professor suggested he drop the science and study music. It wasn’t until his senior year that they realized he couldn’t read music. He went on to become one of the most celebrated jazz musicians in the world. Also inspiring, about to turn 90, he is still performing.

What does this have to do with divorce? With life? Just this: there are always second chances. And usually third and fourth ones too. Whether it’s a marriage, a career, a relationship or a belief, there are opportunities. You can’t rewind, do-over or re-do. But you can start fresh.

So consider this: what would you like to do with your second chance?  Perhaps a little post-divorce growth?