11/20/17

5 tips for staying healthy while you're mourning




Research has shown that you’re more vulnerable to physical problems following the death of a spouse/partner. This doesn’t mean that you will get sick, only that it’s important to take care of your health during this stressful period.

The 5 best ways to safeguard yourself include:

1) Informing your doctor(s) that your spouse/partner has died. Pre-existing medical conditions can be affected by the stress of coping with loss and you may need an adjustment in medication dosages or other treatment changes.

2) Making sure you’re getting adequate nutrition. Appetite loss is a common symptom of grief and can create health problems over time. Rather than forcing yourself to polish off three full meals a day, try to eating several small snacks throughout the day, including fruits, vegetables and lean meats or other sources of protein.

3) Considering vitamin and/or meal supplements. Ask your doctor about taking vitamins and/or one of the liquid meal supplements like Ensure.

4) Taking short naps to compensate for the lack of sleep at night. Sleep disturbance is a very common symptom of grief. A word of caution: Some doctors will want to prescribe sleep medications. Although this type of medication can be helpful in the days following the death, continued use can interfere with the normal mourning process.

5) Keeping moving. If at all possible, try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes a day of light exercise, like taking a walk. Mild exercise has been proven to help overall health and well-being.

Remember: grief puts you under a lot of stress both emotionally and physically. So try to take the best possible care of yourself during this vulnerable time in your life.

2 comments:

deb e said...

I lost a lot of weight after my husband died. I just did not have any appetite so I made a conscious effort to make every calorie count. I always kept meal replacement drinks or bars on hand, so I would get proper nutrition, even if I was not hungry. If my weight was still down, I would get an occasional high calorie milkshake or smoothie-I figured at least a couple of major food groups were covered and eventually my appetite returned. Try not to worry about it-it just makes it worse and plan ahead! You need your energy and strength that is zapped by the process of grieving.

Laurie and Ruth said...

Sounds like you worked out some good strategies for coping with your appetite loss. We agree with your tips about taking care of yourself. Thanks, Deb!