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  • Susan Koursaris, NTP, BCHN®

Supporting Your Health After Loss: 10 Things You Can Start Doing TODAY!

It's very easy to "get stuck." Especially when you're experiencing a difficult season in your life. This doesn't just apply to losing someone to death, it also includes things like diovorce, broken relationships, a new job or home, a loss of a job or home, kids moving out, you get the idea. Life is full of chages, and painful changes can either manifest changes in our bodies for good or bad. That's why it's so important to take the proper steps to ensure you don't "fall apart" (as tempting as that may be)! Here are 10 steps you can take today, to support your health after loss:

  1. Prioritize Self-Care: I know, it sounds trite. And even a bit cringy. But it is important to make this a TOP PRIORITY. Grieving is exhausting both emotionally and physically so tending to basic physical needs is non-negotiable. Create a sleep hygiene routine to get enough sleep, nutrient-densify your meals whenever possible, and keep drinking that clean water!

  2. Keep it Routine: A simple, yet brilliant gem to live by. When you maintain a daily routine as much as possible, the structure and consistency can provide a sense of stability during a time of chaos. This will also help ensure you are tending to your physical self-care needs!

  3. Exercise Regularly: When you exercise regularly, this can not only improve mood, but it also moves stress out of the body! Movement also facilitates lymphatic drainage, supporting detoxification, which can also improve digestion. Find activities that bring you joy to help release tension.

  4. Breathe Deep: Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Taking a few moments each day to focus on your breath or practice mindfulness lends a positive impact on your physical well-being.

  5. Walk on the Wild Side: Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can be rejuvenating for both the mind and body. Walk in the park, or natural preserves and you’ll begin to feel the quiet, healing benefits of the sights, smells and sounds nature has in store.

  6. Get Grateful: Practicing gratitude can improve overall well-being. While it’s hard to do so during the pain of loss, if you can focus on things you are grateful for, this can shift your perspective and promote a more positive outlook. There is power in positivity and it can trigger a cascade of positive effects on your physical health.

  7. Find Your Tribe: Never hesitate to lean on friends, family, or join a support group for help. Talking to others who have experienced similar losses can provide the emotional encouragement you need to stay active and take care of yourself physically.

  8. Just Say No: It is well known that alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can have negative effects on your physical health, that includes disrupting sleep (which is crucial during this time of healing). Although they can provide temporary relief, excessive use usually ends in worsening feelings of anxiety and/or depression. There are so many alternatives out there that can promote a feeling of calm and peace, through natural herbs and adaptogens.

  9. Set Realistic Goals: Setting small, achievable goals for yourself each day is the key to success. Even simple tasks such as taking a shower, going for a short walk, or preparing a nutritious meal, are all accomplishments when you’re bogged down by grief! Keeping track of these goals can boost your self-esteem and motivation to continue caring for your physical health.

  10. Keep Your Healthcare Professional Informed: Never hesitate to reach out to a qualified healthcare professional if you’re feeling sick or struggling with physical, or emotional symptoms. Appropriate testing can determine your plan of action to get better!

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