Has someone in your family died recently? Plenty of people across the country are learning firsthand how painful death can be. Unfortunately, our culture does not address the pain of grief often enough. This has left many people incapable of coping healthily. It would be better if you took a little time to learn about grief and how to handle it.
Death and the Physical Symptoms of Grief
Did you know that grief can affect you physically? It is not all in your head. Extreme stress can lead to long-term effects on your health. This includes impacts on both the body and the mind. If you do not deal with the grief, it can devastate your health.
When you are grieving, the body releases massive amounts of cortisol and adrenaline. Both of these hormones are part of your body’s stress system. You may notice that sleeping is much more difficult. That’s because your body is in a state of shock.
Have you had mood swings? If so, you are experiencing one of the classic symptoms of grief. You may have extreme emotions for several weeks. This can include things like random bouts of crying or anger.
Coping with Grief and Loss
It is possible to overcome the loss of someone that you love. However, it does not happen on its own. You must work your way through the grief process. This is an active engagement. If you try to ignore it, it will only prolong your suffering.
Our best recommendation is to get involved. Find something you enjoy doing that takes your mind off of your loss. Sitting around is not going to help anyone. Being productive can help you feel good about yourself.
Do Not Feel Guilty:
Guilt is a common emotion, especially after someone dies. Even when you do not have a part in their death, the survivor’s guilt may follow you. Remember, you have nothing to be guilty of because death is a natural thing. Eventually, it happens to everyone.
Get Proper Sleep:
Sleep disturbances are common with people who are dealing with grief and loss and if unaddressed for too long it can be detrimental to ones health . Besides fatigue and irritability, some common side effects of sleep issues are heartburn, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease as well as mental health and neurological disorders. Sleep is vital to a persons overall health so it is important to tackle the sleep disturbances before they turn in to something bigger. Check out these tips for a better night sleep:
- Invest in your sleep – If you are having trouble sleeping maybe you can look in to upgrading your mattress, pillows or comforter
- Block out with blackout curtains – these curtains help to block out the outside light as well as outside temperatures which can help to lower your Toledo Edison bill
- Keep your room and bed tidy – you will probably notice more peaceful rest when your environment is organized and calm
Self-care While Grieving
Your number one priority after someone passes away should be taking care of yourself. Too many good people fall apart while they are grieving. Self-care is vital. When you take good care of yourself, you will process your grief faster.
When was the last time you took a shower? If it has been more than one day, stop reading and take one now. Take your time when you are bathing. Your hygiene impacts your mental health more than you realize.
Exercise is one of nature’s most potent antidepressants. When you are physically active, the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are a powerful chemical related to happiness. These are the chemicals responsible for the runner’s high you get when you go on a long-distance jog.
When was the last time you had a healthy meal? The food you put into your body dramatically impacts the way you feel. These effects impact both your mental and physical health. Clean up your diet. You will be surprised at how much better you feel after only a week. Plus, you may end up losing some weight in the process.
Processing Death: The Bottom Line Every death is a tragedy. However, it’s something everyone goes through at some point. Some of us may have had a death when we are young. Others are lucky enough not to have any until much later in life. Either way, your first experience with death will be incredibly impactful. Remember, any emotions you feel are only a natural response.