Divorce: How to Survive While Maintaining Your Physical and Mental Health

When your happily ever after becomes your the end, when you thought you had your whole life together but it was only a couple of chapters—it can feel like a never-ending spiral of an uncontrollable roller coaster of heavy emotions.

No two people experience divorce the same way but most can agree that it’s an extremely difficult and painful situation both mentally and physically. While you are busy filling out documents and figuring out shared custody if you have kids, it’s important to remember that a divorce can have serious adverse effects on your sleeping habits to your heart (big surprise there).

Therefore it’s imperative to pay close attention to your mind and body wellness during this time. And one way to take charge of your mental and physical health during a divorce is by knowing some of the conditions and working hard to prevent them.


It’s typical for your anxiety to skyrocket after a divorce. The future you were so certain of and trusted no longer exists. You don’t have a partner in crime in this giant big bad world. There is a ton of uncertainty, which can lead to feelings of insecurity.

Some people feel like failures after a divorce and it can cause a spiral of hopelessness and cause depression.

This can be a pivotal moment in life for some to seek out a good therapist. It also helps to gain support from someone who is not emotionally involved in the situation. The insight that you can gain from seeking help can play a vital role in helping you understand yourself and learn how to avoid a similar situation.


Some people can turn to comfort foods during a stressful time, others lose their appetite.

No matter which side you lean towards, being in touch with the fact that this behavior is a side effect and not real will help you bounce back to a balance faster.

Psychologists suggest that we are the happiest when we savor things. For example, eating chocolate once in a while will make you happier than if you had it every day. To summarize, anticipating pleasures—food or other things will help you not get stuck in a limbo.


If you were married for a long time, your mind can wander between feeling like you didn’t exist until you met each other and other times like it never happened. As a friend who was recently divorced said,

“You feel like a failure. You can take struggling at your job, health problems, money challenges. These are all things that you feel you can survive as long as you don’t have to do them alone. But losing your marriage leaves you feeling like you are without a purpose like you have permanently and irrevocably failed at the single most important thing in your life. You sit comatose in front of your television until the sun sets, only to lie awake at night listening until the silence hurts your ears. You cry until you dry heave. And after that comes the emptiness, both outside and in, that makes you feel how lonely you truly are.”

So it’s no wonder you find yourself coping with that loneliness and anxiety by becoming more dependent on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. According to an article published in Journal of Men’s Health, divorced men have higher rates of depression, mortality and lack of social support, compared with married men (unless you are a South Asian woman — that study might be flipped).

Nevertheless, the stress you feel from a divorce has the potential of causing chronic health and behavior problems.

When you are stressed, the salad is not calling your name, the wine is. You are skipping sleep which can add to your mood levels further. Understanding this possibility can help you navigate a little better. This is an important time to ask a friend to help you—go for a walk or a dance class; have them over for dinner so you can cook together; go to a gentle yoga class together.


You navigated foreign soil and slept on hammocks on the beach while the ocean moaned around you. You talked quietly for hours on couches, emptying bottles of wine and telling each other your childhoods, your fears and dreams, the little triumphs that made you carry on. You stood hand in hand at funerals, silently holding and caressing each other. You felt the gravity of joy during friends and family wedding vows and winked at each other during your favorite song.

But you also manipulated and lied to each other, not maliciously but fearfully and childishly.

You memorized each other’s scars and picked at them to get what you wanted. To be right. You didn’t want to be wrong, you were afraid to be wrong and alone.

These are just a few self-deprecating, self-blame and self-bashing spiral of thoughts that can haunt you and rob you of your peace of mind, hence sleep. What you had was both wonderful and also not great at times as well. Making peace with it being over is the only way you will be able to quiet the mind. One practice that can be helpful to gain peace again is accepting that you both gave it your best shot. You tried to make a love. You both did your best. Neither one of you wished for this. But it’s your reality right now. You just have to accept that it’s time for a new chapter. You have to forgive yourself and each other.


To survive a divorce, you must find acceptance even if you never find forgiveness. You have to get yourself out of the red zone in a healthy, helpful way. Remember no matter how crazy things get and how terrible they feel, you need to allow your mind and body to decompress and return to a normal-ish state. This takes a little bit of consciousness and effort.

When you slowly start doing small little things, taking periodic steps toward relieving some of the stress, your healing will accelerate.

Becoming aware and knowledgeable about the conditions that can run a havoc on your health will serve as an armor and help you get balanced faster. Connecting with and voicing your emotions without judgement is the magic key to bringing love back into your heart, which will help you get through to the other side of your mental and physical health a little more intact. The only person who can make you happy and change your negative habit and mental state is YOU — and believe me, you are capable and you can do it. Just remember to love who you are in this moment, right now, the rest will pass.

By Punita Mangat

Punita Mangat is a certified Holistic Health + Wellness Coach accredited by NASM and Yoga Alliance. She is the owner … Read more ›

The Family Immigration Process That’s Meant to Reunite, Keeps us Apart

These days, the phrase, “love knows no bounds” doesn’t seem to hold true. For many couples, specifically, those in long-distance relationships, the lengthy and complicated immigration process can keep lovers apart for six to 24 months. Well, aside from the thousands and thousands of miles of the deep ocean in between. I’ve been there; I have been an immigration attorney for 10 years and I found love abroad (my wife was living in the UK when we met).

I was flying across the Atlantic every few months so, as you can imagine, dating was quite expensive (though she quite liked the fact that for our first intentional visit, I paid several thousand pounds for a global migration conference as an excuse for flying over).

Marriage immigration is complex and costly. The eligibility and procedural requirements are confusing and require multiple long and complicated application forms over the course of six to eight years: from fiancé(e) or spouse visa through adjustment of status process, the Removal of Conditions Application, and thereafter applying for U.S. citizenship.

To put it in perspective, many immigration applications end up being 200-300 pages long. For you to know exactly what you need can be either extremely expensive — using an attorney, who typically charges $2,000-$12,000 per application (not including government-filing fees) — or time-consuming learning how to DIY. If you opt for the latter, it is quite scary to have to figure out the requirements and procedures and follow up with case status checks in hopes of finally getting some peace of mind that your case is progressing as it should. 

[Read Related: Tug of war: Brown Women and the Feat of Marriage]

The worst part? The grueling wait. Waiting while not knowing how long until you can bring love home; waiting to start a family — the next chapter of your life. You keep hearing people say, “life is short!” and you thought that you finally found a partner you want to spend it with. Unfortunately, life (bureaucratic procedures) get in the way. 

The combination of distance and long immigration processing times puts our next chapter ‘on pause’ while we do everything we can to bridge the gap — the gap that effectively challenges our ability to build a ‘real’ relationship. Or did it? Is there a test for this kind of thing? I mean, apparently, the U.S. Immigration Service (USCIS) seems to know what a “real” relationship is and tests ours against some “standard” to determine if it is genuine enough to grant a fiancé(e) visa or spousal green card. What makes a strong Fiancé(e) or Spouse visa application? I’ve experienced love; I am human. What do they want from me to bring my partner home?

I have been a U.S. immigration lawyer for over 10 years and I myself found love abroad and firsthand had to go through the process of bringing my spouse home to the United States. My wife is an NRI who grew up in the Philippines and lived in London where we met (more on how our meddlesome Indian families instigated our “meet-cute” in a future article). Having recently gone through this journey, and having helped hundreds of immigrant couples over the years, it became obvious that there had to be a better way. It should not be expensive, unaffordable, or overly complicated for you to bring your loved one home to become a family. 

[Read Related: How to Follow Your Heart, Even When it’s Hard]

When we were apart, we did everything from waking each other up in the middle of our respective nights, with the time difference, to one partner falling asleep with the other on the phone. We watched movies together on Netflix. We made travel plans and talked about what the future would look like. We craved each other and expressed our love daily, maybe even hourly.

The future can be uncertain for any couple, but perhaps even more so for those in a long-distance relationship. When one partner is waiting for a spousal visa or fiancé visa, there can be a lot of anxiety and stress about the process and wait times. Even one mistake can set the whole process back months or even years and, if you are not familiar with the process, there’s always the overhanging uncertainty of whether or not the visa will be approved altogether. 

In today’s globalized world where borders are becoming less relevant than ever before, largely thanks to technological advances which allow individuals across countries via Facetime, WhatsApp, and Skype chats without having left home, there is more of a need for a streamlined immigration tech platform that helps “modern” couples who are dating long-distance with the help of technology.

The number one reason Fiancé(e) visa or Spouse visa applications are denied is lack of documentation evidencing your relationship/intent to marry. This article shows what evidence you can provide USCIS to prove you have a genuine relationship and thereby strengthen your visa application. OurLoveVisa.com is an immigration attorney-designed platform that provides free tools and features to help couples going through the U.S. K-1 or marriage visa process plan, manage, and track their immigration journey. Many couples going through the K-1 fiancé visa process, or CR-1/IR-1 spouse visa process, have found its relationship timeline tool, which is as easy to use as Instagram, helpful in building their application. The best part: it’s free to use. The OurLoveVisa.com platform was built so you can focus on what is truly important, your relationship!

The long, unreasonable immigration processing/wait times are definitely another topic for discussion and, as time goes on, I will continue to share and elaborate on my and my wife’s joint and individual journeys through marriage, immigration, and closing the gap from our long-distance relationship. In the meantime, I hope the information provided will bring value to you and your journey.

By Kunal Tewani

Kunal Tewani is a US immigration lawyer who grew up in New York with his extended family under one roof. … Read more ›