Study reveals divorce can impact men’s health – five expert tips on how to cope.
Research by scientists at the University of Copenhagen reveals divorce and living alone could lead to ill health and death for middle-aged men.
This research indicates that divorced men have a higher rate of mental health issues compared to never-married, separated, and widowed men, as well as divorced women. Indeed, one study found that divorced men were eight times more likely to kill themselves compared to divorced women. Not only that, the risk of early death, heart attacks and dementia were the main health implications upon men who live alone for more than seven years.
Dr Earim Chaudry, Medical Director at men’s mental health platform Manual, says “There are several factors that contribute to these health implications for men, one being mental health. Research shows men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK.
“Many middle-aged men tend to have smaller social networks than women, meaning they are at a higher risk of loneliness and lack of emotional support.
“Whilst research shows that men tend to depend more on their female partners as opposed to women, this makes men a lot more vulnerable to losing a partner.”
Therefore Dr Chaudry has offered five expert tips for men on how they can get through mental and other health problems caused by a breakup or divorce.
Do not skip grieving
It is important to understand that it is OK to grieve losing somebody. Many men tend to push their feelings to the back of their minds and block them out.However, this will have detrimental implications in the long run. The grieving cycle normally occurs in the following order; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. It is important to go through each of these phases to find happiness after a divorce.
Use mindful techniques
Mindfulness meditation and other techniques will help you calm down and prevent the risk of heart attacks or high levels of inflammation in the body.
Conscious walking is a particularly useful technique. It includes paying attention to every small detail on your way and mindfully observing things around you that will help bring you to the present moment and make you feel significantly better, both physically and mentally.
Avoid social media for a while
Don’t disconnect from your supportive friends and relatives when you’re facing difficult times, as they will be a crucial part of helping you. However, disconnecting from social media can be beneficial. Reminders of your previous relationship, however innocently posted they may be, will be on social media, and having access to a previous partner’s account will make it much harder for you to continue without them. Either unsubscribe from their page for a while or don’t check your social media accounts until you feel the desire and strength to face reality.
Reconnect with hobbies and friends:
Try to start your week busy, whether it be going to the gym, taking up a new instrument or joining a social club, distractions will help you forget how you are feeling and help you get used to everyday life without a partner. It is also important to talk to people about how you are feeling, ideally those who have experienced divorce or are currently going through it. This will allow you to support each other.
Replace ‘isolation’ with ‘me time’
Divorce is not an easy thing to digest, therefore self-care is essential to look after your well-being. At first, including pleasurable time in your daily schedule will require some effort, however, ‘me time’ is extremely beneficial as it will help rebalance your body, mind, and soul. This will help turn your ‘lonely time’ into ‘time for myself’ and help you adjust and feel comfortable being alone.