8 Ways to Stay Healthy When Grieving
by Camille Johnson, bereaver.com
The death of a loved one can be traumatic and difficult to handle. Grief and the strong emotions you feel in response to loss are normal, but they can also be painful and unhealthy if they last too long or become too intense. Below are eight ways to stay healthy when grieving — and steps toward healing that can offer comfort.
1. Spend Time With Loved Ones
While grieving, you may tend to isolate yourself. While it’s okay to spend time alone with your thoughts, it’s also essential to socialize with other people and engage in positive activities. A little time spent with friends or family members can go a long way toward helping you maintain perspective and stay on track. Talking about your loved one can help you remember them while also allowing others a chance to share their memories of that person.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep helps you physically recover from your loss and mentally prepare for another day. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night — but if it doesn’t happen, try not to beat yourself up about it. Do your best and move on with your day.
3. Eat Well
Don’t let your diet suffer while you grieve. Eat balanced meals with healthy snacks in between, if necessary. Getting enough protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates can help you feel fuller longer.
Exercise can be a great stress reliever. While you may not feel like doing it right away, regular exercise, even in small amounts, can help you start feeling better. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins and other hormones that give you a natural lift. This makes exercise my favorite of the eight ways to stay healthy when grieving.
5. Try Some New Hobbies
There’s nothing like having something else you can put your effort into to take your mind off of your grief. Pick up an old hobby or try out a new one. A hobby can provide a distraction from your sadness and helps create some normalcy in your life again.
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6. Watch Your Favorite Movies
Get into a good movie — the kind of film that makes you forget about your troubles and get lost in its world. It doesn’t have to be something deep or thought-provoking. Good comedies are always great for cheering up, too. Choose one you love so much you can quote it from memory. If you’re not in an Amazon Prime/Netflix mood, take a trip to the movie theater for the latest release.
7. Let in Some Light
Bright light can enhance mood, help you sleep better, improve your energy levels, and prevent seasonal affective disorder. Try keeping your curtains or blinds open when possible, and get outside for at least 30 minutes each day. If sunlight isn’t an option in colder months, try using a light therapy box.
8. Avoid Burnout at Work
During this emotional time, allow yourself to ease back into your routine. Set lower expectations for yourself, establish boundaries with people who ask too much of you, value your time, and acknowledge your emotions. It’s okay to put yourself first to protect your energy.
The grieving process can be a hard one. Look after yourself and use some of the above ideas to find peace.
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We thank Camille Johnson for this article