3 Ways To Stay Healthy While Grieving
Written by: Pamela Schwarz
The loss of a loved one can turn your world upside down. Your routine changes and you can become so focused on arrangements, your pain and the pain of others around you, that your healthy habits get disrupted – or even ignored – and you end up getting thrown off track.
It’s completely understandable – I’ve been there myself, as have many others. You’re not alone in this, friend. But, one thing you need to understand is just how important it is to maintain your own health, especially during times of pain and sorrow.
So now, how can you get through this time of sorrow and come out on top, still caring for yourself and maintaining your healthy lifestyle?
Here are 3 ways that can help you through the grief of losing a loved one. They may be simple in nature, but implementing them into your life can truly make all the difference in the world.
1. Get Yourself Moving
By moving, you release endorphins that make you feel better. Endorphins block pain and create feelings of pleasure. Focusing on a physical activity for 30 minutes or more can take your mind off your loss and allow you to relax while producing lasting feelings of emotional stability and health.
Some moderate exercise that can help with this include:
2. Breathe From Your Belly
Belly breathing can help to reduce anxiety and increase energy and stamina.
Here’s how to breathe from your belly:
- Sit, stand or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Focus on clearing and quieting your mind.
- Focus on your posture and try to release any tension from your body.
- Place a hand on your belly just below your navel and breathe in through your nose, allowing your belly to rise while you slowly count to four in your mind.
- Exhale through your mouth while slowly counting to four again as you exhale.
- Repeat the process at least three times.
3. Reach Out
Holding in your feelings and trying to “be strong” creates stress and tension in your body. Reach out and talk with trusted family and friends, or even a therapist if you need to. You will find that they are very happy to listen and be a shoulder for you.
It can be difficult to do this, but you will feel better and your family and friends will feel good that they were able to help you in your time of need.
Three years ago, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. I buried my pain and sorrow by taking care of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE except myself. It took a year for me to come to terms with her passing and let myself grieve. I became the caregiver for her mom, my grandmother, who recently she joined my mother.
The lesson that I learned three years ago was that it’s important to take care of yourself during these trying times. The gym has been a great source for me to ground myself and release the pain and stress bearing me down.
Loss of a loved is a painful process that can challenge your health and wellness routine, often severely. Taking care of YOU and making sure you don’t get lost in despair is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family during these times.
Is there anything that you would add to this list to help someone dealing with the loss of a loved one? Post your list in the comments and let’s help someone through a difficult time together.
Pamela Schwarz is a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner in Upstate New York. Working with clients to achieve wellness that comes from within is the main focus of her work. She believes in the power of positive thoughts and following your dreams to create the life you were meant to live.
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