Helping Yourself Physically

When we loose a loved one we want to not only emotionally, but physically shut down.  We stop living and doing the things that give our lives meaning and purpose.  We often let our physical health slide, or fail to realize the physical toll that grief takes on the body.  Remembering to take care of our physical needs and learning how to get back into life can help us move through grief rather than get stuck in the midst of it.

Don't Move In
Interval depression is all right for a period, so let yourself visit, but don’t unpack your bags and stay.

David A. Penny

The Physical Side of Grief
We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.

The mind and body are connected. When you feel good physically, you’ll also feel better emotionally. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Don’t use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of grief or lift your mood artificially.

  From the Editors Desk

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    I was not expecting to become a widow, so it caught me completely off guard. I had no idea what to do in any area of my life. Now I have some suggestions for my sweet friends who are going through this themselves. 10 tips for a new widow… 1....
  2. Taking Control of Your Grieving

        “Grieving is the process we go through that helps us let go of old hopes and dreams that we can no longer have and helps us establish new hopes and dreams that are more attainable.  It is an unlearned process and is a feeling process not a thinking...
  3. The Grief Monster

    Everyone has to deal with this individually, and there is no correct set of rules or calendars. I fear, however, that the “grief monster” can also have some influence from the dark side. I don’t want to give in to that side of grief. Many days I’d like to just...

  From Our Experience

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I struggled with the dark side during the second year. I was angry and frustrated. I would sit on the couch, not shower, not interact with people and then finally I got disgusted with myself and started slowly coming out of that dark side. I didn’t like who I was becoming. Sometimes I still sit on the couch but not as often now. I try every day to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward and trust in the Lord that where I am going now is the direction that I am suppose to be going.

Lack of energy and enthusiasm for life plagued me early on in my grief, but I felt comfort when I read in “A Grief Observed,” how author C. S. Lewis experienced the same overwhelming and draining fatigue after the death of his wife. He described his inability to focus and participate in simple conversations and how his grief seemed to drain all of his vitality and energy.

  Significant Health Risks

Because our physical bodies are closely tied into our mental and emotional states, grief has the power to affect you physically, mentally and socially. Without appropriate precautions and preventative measures, the complications of grief may pose significant health risks including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Increased risk of physical illness, such as heart disease, cancer or high blood pressure
  • Significant sleep disturbances
  • Long-term difficulty with daily living, relationships or work activities
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Nicotine use, such as smoking

  More From Our Blog

  1. The Stages of Grief

    The Stages of Grief

    I read a very helpful article on the stages of grief written by Susan Anderson, a psychotherapist specializing in abandonment and loss, who experience both a divorce and then the loss of a second husband through death.  Her perspectives are well researched and the result of her observations and personal experience.  She...

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