This article was submitted to Meridian Health Care by Camille Johnson of Bereaver.com

 

Every individual experiences grief in a unique way. While some seek out the comfort of loved ones, others prefer being alone to work on their emotions. At Meridian, we understand that there is no set way to overcome grief, but for individuals struggling to come to terms with the recent loss of a loved one, this article strives to provide a few ways to manage emotions and take positive steps towards healing. 

 

Take Ample Rest

 

Grieving can be mentally draining and reduce your capacity to think straight or do even the simplest of chores. Add a lack of sleep in the mix and it can make matters much worse by making you irritable and reducing control over your actions as reported by Priory. Throughout the day try to engage in activities that help you feel calm. This can include watching a movie, going for a walk, talking to friends, etc. As for sleep, aim to get at least 8 hours of it each night. If you find it difficult to sleep alone in your home, request a family member to come over or stay at their place for a couple of nights.

 

Engage in Physical Activity

 

Grief is often associated with stress and anxiety which stems from uncertainty regarding the future, handling additional responsibilities, managing finances, and more. According to AADA, exercise serves as a natural stress buster, as when we exercise our body releases a range of feel-good hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin. These reduce the level of cortisol in our body, leading to happier moods and clarity of thought. Additionally, a good exercise session will make you feel tired, helping you fall asleep easier and get the rest you need.

 

Here are activities you can include in your exercise routine:

 

  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Weight Training
  • Swimming

 

Rebuild Trust

 

The passing of a partner, parent, or best friend who served as a pillar of support can be a difficult predicament to deal with. To help yourself cope, seek the comfort of others you trust. Talking with individuals who have experienced grief will provide you with the knowledge of how to deal with your own. Being empathetic towards the situation, they’ll also assist you with handling responsibilities, overcoming uncertainties, and providing hope for the future. 

 

Maintain a Healthy Diet

 

While grieving, it is common for individuals to give up caring for themselves. This can lead to eating an unhealthy diet, weight gain, and other health problems. Additionally, one may seek the help of alcohol or substances to deal with grief. But, engaging in these activities will put your body under additional mental and physical stress. 

 

Here are a few health tips that will help you regulate emotions and allow your body and mind to heal:

 

  • Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed, as it will make it harder to fall asleep.

 

  • Restrict eating junk food such as pizza, burgers, or processed meals as they are high in carbohydrates. A high-carb diet will make you feel lethargic, preventing you from engaging in activities that can help overcome stress. 

 

  • Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and tiredness, hence drink plenty of water during the day. 

 

Make a Career Change

 

Losing someone can often make us reflect on our own lives and question our decisions, achievements, and goals. It can also serve as a wake-up call for making changes that we’ve been putting off for a long time. For instance, if you realize your current job doesn’t provide you any sense of fulfillment or help towards achieving your career goals, it’s best to make a change. In addition to researching new roles, aim to go back to school and add to your educational qualifications. An online degree will help you learn in-demand skills, expand your knowledge and take a big step towards a new career. 

 

Grieving is a personal process that you should deal with on your own terms and time. But, the process can be made easier by leaning on the support of those close to you and taking healthy steps towards moving forward while cherishing the moments you had with your loved one.