By Camille Johnson
When you grieve, whether it’s over the loss of a loved one, the end of a marriage, job termination, or another traumatic event, unhealthy habits sometimes develop. For instance, grief may lead to you eating too much or too little. However, you need to think about your health during this trying time.
Start a Journal
In some cases, people turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse. Rather than try to cover up your emotions, start a journal to express those feelings in a healthy manner.
In your journal, write about how you feel about your loss, but also address your goals and anything else on your mind. This can help you put things in perspective and process your thoughts more effectively. Keeping a journal is also known to help manage depression, anxiety, and stress.
Declutter Your Home for Stress Relief
A cluttered home can add to the stress you’re currently feeling. Clutter has the potential to negatively impact your mental health. This is even more true for females than males. Besides getting anxious about how your home looks, you may struggle to find what you need, which only adds to the frustration.
Take time to get rid of items you haven’t used in a while, items you aren’t likely to use anytime soon, and items that are outdated. Not only can decluttering redirect your focus for a bit, but you end up with a more peaceful home where you can process your emotions without distractions.
Ease Stress at Work
According to the American Institute of Stress, 94% of Americans in 2019 experienced stress in the workplace. While that statistic makes it sound like work-related stress is a normal occurrence, it doesn’t need to be. You can establish boundaries by learning to say no to overtime. Take this opportunity to start valuing your time. If you haven’t had a raise in a while, it may be time to bring up the subject.
Moreover, at the end of the workday, schedule time for yourself. Designate this time to let your mind wander away from your work troubles and grief.
Get a Gym Membership
Grieving may lead to unhealthy eating habits and cause you to feel more tired than usual. However, you can combat weight gain and tiredness by enrolling in a fitness class or joining a gym. You feel better about yourself when you’re physically active. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, which help combat anxiety and depression naturally. Plus, when you get regular exercise, you tend to sleep better.
Adopt a Pet
Search for an animal shelter and find a dog or cat that needs a home. Not only are you helping a pet in need, but you’re doing yourself a favor in the process.
An animal can be there to comfort you and help reduce your anxiety. A pet also requires care, which can help keep you occupied and take your mind off your problems.
Positive Changes Can Ease the Pain of Grieving
When you make positive changes to your life, you can lessen your pain and reduce the toll grieving takes on your health.