By: Camille Johnson
Navigating a profound loss can easily consume all your time and energy. Not only does grief affect your emotions, but your thought processes, your physical wellbeing, and your sense of self as well. Research shows that grief can emerge as a number of physical symptoms, from heart problems and lowered immunity to digestive issues and insomnia. Grief can also push us towards unhealthy coping mechanisms that can cause long-lasting damage to the body and brain.
Prioritizing your health during this difficult time will mitigate some of these painful physical symptoms and make it easier to cope with your loss. In this article, RealitySeeker explores a few ways to make space in your grieving process for health and wellness habits.
Grief can feel like an incredibly lonely process. As a result, it can be easy to separate yourself from the rest of the world as you navigate your unique experience of this loss. But this will only heighten your feelings of loneliness. Seeking support from others can help relieve some feelings of loneliness. Participate in support groups, talk to those in your social circle, and seek one-on-one support from a therapist or counselor.
Working from home can increase feelings of isolation during grief. If you work remotely, try to make a point of getting out of the house and seeing people every day. Maintain contact with your coworkers throughout the day. Importantly, try to stick to a regular work schedule to promote a positive work-life balance.
Learn How to Handle Difficult Thought Patterns
As you move through the grieving process, you might face a variety of negative thought patterns. These thinking patterns can take over your mind and get in the way of healthy activities like sleep and exercise. While you may be tempted to try and push these thoughts from your mind, fighting them will only worsen how you feel. Find ways to accept and manage difficult thoughts and feelings instead of repressing them. Be open to different ways of thinkingand get comfortable just noticing your thoughts instead of trying to direct them.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Did you know that spending time in nature can help with the grieving process? According to Better Place Forests, natural environments can serve as an antidote to sadness and stress. Studies show that nature can even have a healing effect on the physical body! Getting outside is a great way to get your body moving and soothe some of those intense emotions, if only for a little while.
Pick Up a Hobby
It’s not unusual to pour yourself into a new hobby after experiencing a loss. After all, hobbies can serve as a fantastic form of expression and offer a healthy outlet for your feelings. A new hobby can lend a sense of meaning to your life and give you something else to think about for a while. Whether you turn to a physical hobby like hiking or kickboxing or a mental hobby like learning a new language or playing an instrument, you’re bound to enjoy a wealth of benefits by exploring something new.
Create a Calming Evening Routine
Grief affects sleep in several ways. What’s Your Grief explains that grievers may have trouble falling or staying asleep, or might find it difficult to stay awake during the day. Worries, anxieties, ruminating thoughts, and bad dreams can make it seem impossible to calm the mind enough for sleep. Establishing a bedtime routine might help to relieve some sleeplessness. Dim the lights, put the phone down, read a book, take a warm bath, listen to some soothing music, and go to bed when you feel tired. Getting a good night’s sleep will make it much easier to cope with your grief.
The grieving process can really take a toll on your body. Adopting healthy habits can help your physical and emotional health after experiencing the loss of a loved one. By surrounding yourself with supportive people, getting outside for some exercise, finding purpose in a new hobby, and getting enough sleep, you can gain some sense of comfort and start down the path to healing.
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