Giving your body the resources to cope with divorce

Successfully negotiating a divorce or relationship breakdown demands a lot of an individual both mentally and physically, so what do health experts advise to help us through?
Merrick Life got some top tips from Therapy Organics co-founder Jackie Coldwell.


In busy lives, self-care often falls down the list of our priorities. But it’s at times of particular stress that we need to listen to our mind and body and understand that while motivation may be low – this is when we need to look after number one.

Jackie, who alongside sister Kylie has run the Cheshire-based health and wellness boutique store and clinic for almost a decade, explained: “Our modern way of living doesn’t often allow for periods of downtime where we allow our body to switch into the vital ‘rest and digest’ state which is critical for restorative processes in the body.

Jackie and Kylie outside Therapy Organics

“During stressful or busy periods, it’s very common for normal healing processes, such as our sleep, to be affected and our circadian rhythm to be off course as this is heavily influenced by the health of our adrenals.

“These tiny glands produce our stress hormones. They are helpful in situations where we need to remove ourselves from danger, but too often we constantly live in this state of adrenal activation which our bodies are only designed to cope with in short and acute situations.”

During these intensely stressful periods, it’s really important to implement self-care practices to help us stay on top.

Jackie adds: “Whilst nutrition cannot take away the external situation, it can give your body the resources to ‘cope’ with an extra layer of stress.

“These are often times when people can’t find the energy or motivation to fuel their bodies well but it is perhaps the most important time to do so. Breaking the negative cycle is hard as the lower our energy, the harder the practical decision making becomes. These are potentially the times where our adrenals are under the most pressure and need support.”

Replenish vitamin C in times of stress

Remembering the basics of nutrition is an important factor not to be overlooked.

“The first key nutrient our body needs for balance is vitamin C, a nutrient that most mammals can manufacture themselves to handle stress but unfortunately not humans,” said Jackie.

“The only place that we store a little of it is in our adrenal glands so this is an important nutrient to consistently replenish during times of stress. This doesn’t have to be complicated dietary change but simple daily routines to include it in the diet can be very beneficial.

“Other nutrients to consider are B vitamins as these are critical for our energy and are often depleted during times of stress.  As these are water soluble the body needs a daily intake to maintain energy and produce our feel-good hormone, serotonin.

“There are lots of B vitamins that come from different food sources but to take one example, folate is a key consideration in a process called methylation which helps to maintain balance and homeostasis in the body.

“Folate generally comes from our greens. So there is a lot to be said for eating your greens daily during this time.  Magnesium is another key consideration. This is involved in a myriad of enzymatic reactions in the body, but most importantly can be a great relaxant and aid restorative sleep.

“One of the most helpful ways to support the body during times of stress is to ensure good protein at breakfast. Carbs are fine to include but should always be combined with healthy protein.  The more this becomes a routine, the more it can help to balance the stress response.  This also helps to provide an essential amino acid called tryptophan which is the starting point for both serotonin and melatonin production.”

Fuelling the best you

Nutritional therapy is highly recommended during times of stress. The support of a qualified and registered practitioner can provide a personalised wellness plan to ensure you have the tools to support your health and wellbeing.

For Jackie these plans are not about food exclusions or difficult to follow dietary plans, they are more about positive inclusions to ensure that you are fuelling your body well to help you feel ‘the best you’ in times where you have little control over the external environment.

If cost is prohibitive in seeking this one-to-one advice, then Jackie recommends independent health stores as an underrated resource in protecting health.

She said: “They are often run by fully qualified and very experienced therapists. They can provide you with some great advice and starting points to support your health.”

Inside the Wilmslow shop

Jackie says that alongside ensuring the right nutrients are going in to support our busy lifestyles, it is also important to schedule consistent times of rest for the body.

This can look different for everyone, from a walk in nature, breathwork, yoga, reading a book, doing a puzzle, turning off social media or spending time with positive people who can bring a smile to our face.

As Jackie puts it: “It’s finding the right things that fill your own personal ‘cup’ and allow a restful state to be achieved.”

Exercise is also an important element to factor in during these times. This can really help with the body’s production of serotonin and protein that supports brain health and allows for clarity of thought during stressful periods.

Taking ownership of your health

Jackie and Kylie founded their business with a mission – ‘good health naturally’. Kylie is a Bowen Technique practitioner and Jackie a registered Nutritional Therapist.

They wanted to combine their skills and offer a more modern approach to the health store. Alongside is a clinic of hand-picked practitioners providing excellence in natural health care; all working together for a holistic approach to the needs of customers.

After surviving the economic pressures of the Covid lockdowns thanks, Jackie says, to their loyal customers, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis presents new challenges.

Jackie said: “It is making people more ‘considered’ in how they choose to spend their money.

“We recognise that not everyone can access the services of our clinic. So we bring the services of the clinic to the shop to bring this to the people who need it.”

She added: “I think people see the crisis within our healthcare system and want to do what they can to take the pressure off this by investing in their health and doing what they can to look after themselves.

“Taking ownership of our health seems to be more relevant now because of all the recent economic and political situations.

“We pride ourselves on giving the best advice in the shop and this doesn’t always mean spending more money. If we think people might be lacking in a specific nutrient for example and they can easily get this from their diet then our shop floor team of fully qualified Nutritional Therapists will tell them how to make easy dietary and lifestyle adjustments in order for them to feel better rather than spending money unnecessarily.”

Therapy Organics is a health and wellness boutique store and clinic in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

It specialises in the highest quality brands with only the purest of ingredients and ethics to match.

The in-house team of highly qualified nutritional therapy and complementary health practitioners curate a selection of hand-picked, organic products matched with a clinic and spa offering scientific wellness.

Therapy Organics often work with clients who are ‘well’ but want to work preventatively for their future health, taking into account genetics, lifestyle and environment.

Jackie and Kylie have also recently developed and launched the first in a line of their own probiotics, YourGut.