A Healthier Way to Grieve by Camille Johnson
The task of taking care of yourself during a time when you’re processing grief can seem overwhelming. You may be in a place where your own health seems to have taken a spot on the back burner. That may have been acceptable and helpful to you in the short run, but long term, your own health, and wellbeing need to become a priority.
The caring professionals at Scott Funeral Home understand what you’re going through and want you to know that better days are ahead. You taking care of yourself is a process, along with everything you’ve experienced. Here, they offer some advice to help you move to a healthier and brighter chapter in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
Your Home Should Be Your Sanctuary
Housework has probably been moved down your priority list, and that’s ok. However, having a messy or cluttered home adds to stress and compounds any anxiety and depression you may already be feeling. Scientists at Princeton found that clutter reduces your ability to focus as well as your ability to process information. If you’re grieving the loss of a spouse, it may be difficult to put away their personal belongings, so invite a close friend or family member to either help you or do that for you. In the long run, making your home into a new space that’s suited just for you is healthy and beneficial to your healing. Try some of the ancient techniques for releasing bad energy from your home, like Feng Shui, smudging, and crystals. Clean out any junk food that you’ve got lying around and head to the grocery store for replacements of more healthy alternatives. But hang on to the dark chocolate, which can have healthful benefits like improved blood flow, which is good for both your heart and your brain, plus it’s full of antioxidants. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less the percentage of sugar. Like everything else, though, it’s best not to overdo it.
Dark chocolate isn’t the only thing to keep your body and mind healthy, of course. Harvard Medical School says a well-balanced diet can help you withstand the process of grieving. You may remember the old food pyramid, and although it’s changed a bit, the basics are still there. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol, they’re not going to help the process. Instead, drink more water. It sounds cliche, but it really does make you feel better. Put together meals ahead of time and freeze them so that on days you’re feeling particularly exhausted, you won’t be tempted to grab convenience or fast food.
You’ve probably heard that exercising makes a person feel good. You’re probably familiar too with the term, a runner’s high. That is because exercise releases endorphins, our body’s self-manufactured happy pill. You don’t have to be a runner, though, walking will do fine. You don’t need a gym, either, there are plenty of ways to exercise at home. A stationary bike or rower helps build strength and muscle density while giving you a cardio workout too. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi classes are great because they get you out socializing in a healthful way. Whatever you choose, and it’s advisable to mix it up, make sure you do it regularly and soon it will turn into a habit.
Time to Grow
Whether you take language lessons or become a Tai Chi instructor yourself, making the next chapters of your life meaningful with goals and achievable outcomes is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves but especially when they’ve experienced grief. You’ve had a close-up look at how short life is and how precious every moment is. Online classes to earn your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree allows you to work, care for family, whatever your days were like before while still working toward that goal.
No two people grieve exactly the same way, but the processes for healing from it are similar in that self-care is a priority. Do your best to look after yourself and find the peace that comes from knowing that your life has meaning with joy and purpose still ahead.