How to Make Room for Healthy Habits in Grief

Photo via Pexels

Grief is never an easy thing to talk about, and you may think that it has absolutely nothing to do with my job as a health coach. But, if you’re a client of mine, you know everything I preach is about holistic wellness, and taking care of our mental health at all times is vital.

Grief is something we all encounter, and self-care during these turbulent times can be difficult. I’m honored to host this article, written by Camille Johnson, on my site this week. Camille and her friend experienced grief at the same time, but the process looked completely different. She asked her friend about her experience, and she was kind enough to share her grief story with her. She pointed to her bereavement counselor, who gave Camille the tools she needed to heal. And now Camille wants to pay it forward through her site, bereaver.com

When you’re experiencing the loss of a loved one, the last thing you might want to do is think about creating healthy goals. But taking care of your health will make the grieving process much easier to navigate. Good mental and physical health play key roles in emotional regulation and can ease feelings of depression and anxiety. When you establish healthy habits in grief, you start taking those first steps towards healing your mind and body from this difficult experience. Here are some tips to get you started.

Hire a Personal Trainer

According to Verywell Fit, research shows that exercise can offer some relief from symptoms of depression. Engaging in physical activity can help you burn off stress and get a little mood boost. Because grief can take a heavy emotional toll on your body, stick to easier workouts for the time being. You could even work with a personal trainer if you need help finding the motivation to exercise right now. Consider hiring an in-home personal trainer like Jessica’s Fitness for convenient and affordable exercise programming!

Stay Social

It’s normal to withdraw from your social circles during a period of grief. After all, it can be tough watching other people’s lives going on when yours has been shattered. But finding ways to stay social can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness and solitude after a loss. 

Seek support from people in your life who make you feel your best, accept help when it is offered, and join a support group to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss. If you work from home, make a point of getting out of the house and maintaining contact with your coworkers. Also, do what you can to work designated hours so you can draw a line between your personal and professional life.

Feed Your Body

Fueling your body with a well-balanced diet is essential when you’re grieving. HuffPost suggests preparing frozen meals in advance so you have something easy to pop in the oven when you’re feeling exhausted. You could even use paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t have to worry about doing so many dishes after cooking a healthy meal. These steps can help you avoid ordering takeout and consuming processed foods that could make you feel worse.

Get Some Sunshine

Spending time outside in the sunshine is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Sun exposure has been found to trigger an increase in serotonin, which can boost your mood and help you feel calm. To get more sun while you’re grieving, consider eating breakfast on the patio and going for walks around your neighborhood. You could even purchase a light therapy box that mimics natural sunlight so you can enjoy the mood-boosting effects when the weather is cloudy.

Try Meditation

Research shows that practicing meditation can increase concentration, reduce pain, relieve anxiety, and ease symptoms of depression. As a result, many people find that a mindfulness meditation practice can foster healing after the loss of a loved one. Meditating is a great way to bring your focus to the present and maintain an awareness of how you’re feeling and what you need to do to start the healing process. There are many ways to practice meditation. Try sitting still and focusing on the feeling of your breath as it moves through your body. Don’t try to force anything—just be.

It’s easy to let our healthy habits slide when we’re navigating a period of grief. This is completely normal and okay! You should never feel guilted or pressured into getting active or eating healthy when you’re going through life’s most difficult event. Do as much as you feel comfortable with and remember to be kind to yourself.

Are you looking for help staying active after a loss? Jessica’s Fitness offers in-home personal training sessions to help you achieve health and wellness regardless of what’s going on in your life. Fill out the contact form to get in touch today!

Healthy, Happy Kiddos

You all know I’m obsessed with wellness and nutrition, but I’m also a mom and a school based OT, and, quite frankly, pretty worried about what I see served in schools and it’s impact on physical and mental wellness for our kiddos.

It’s absolutely not uncommon for me to see my students eating fries, pop tarts, rice crispy treats and a bag of chips for lunch. I guess it’s at least good that our schools don’t have soft drinks available anymore??! Yikes!

Like I said, I’m a mom. I get it too. I don’t want my five year old to be the only kid bringing lunch in from home, so I let him eat what they serve at school. On school days, we just make sure to serve a wholesome breakfast (like oatmeal and berries) and try to stick to plant based dinners those days. He knows to politely decline the juice they offer him and ask for water instead. To me, it feels like a decent compromise between what I’d really love for him to avoid eating and being realistic at the same time.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this article in a group I’m in and thought I’d share, in case any other parents find themselves in a similar position.

We can’t change everything overnight, but here are some easy foods to start integrating on school days and the reasons why they’re so beneficial:

Power Foods Kids will Actually Eat to Improve Attention and Memory in the Classroom

Hope you all find some easy takeaways from these tips. Please share how you integrate healthy habits at home!!

To your health!!

~Jess