How grief can affect your health


1. Fatigue

It can be tiring to grieve a loved one. There are many extra tasks that must be done, which can lead to a physical and emotional toll. You may feel more tired and less energetic than usual. We need to put in extra effort during these times to maintain our energy and strength. Keep in mind your limits and don’t over commit to too many things. It’s important to prioritize time for exercise, healthy eating, good sleep, and connecting with loved ones.

2. Disturbed sleep

Losing a loved one can cause us to have trouble getting enough sleep. This is a problem that can hinder our ability to get the rest we need. We may have difficulty falling asleep when we are grieving. Even if we do fall asleep, it may be more frequent. Sometimes our bodies can overcompensate by sleeping more.

You can keep a consistent sleep schedule by slowing down before you go to bed. Try doing something calm, such as reading a book or meditating. You should establish a routine that allows you to go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

3. Anxiety

It can feel overwhelming to lose control of your life and other responsibilities. Long-term effects can have a negative impact on our daily activities such as our work, relationships with family members, and mindsets. Although some worry is normal, it’s important to be aware that anxiety can become a problem in your daily life. If this happens, it’s okay to seek medical help.

4. Gastrointestinal problems

Gut health can also be affected by grief. These factors include not eating a healthy diet, binging, and not following a strict exercise routine. Stress hormones, for instance, can cause nausea. There are many things that can cause gut issues, such as cramps, diarrhoea or indigestion. Be mindful of your diet and try to eat healthy foods. Seek medical attention if the problems do not resolve.

5. Immunity decreases

The immune system can be affected by stress hormones that are released in grief. This makes it more likely to fall ill or contract common infections. Although your body may be able to handle this temporarily, it is best to seek medical attention if the symptoms persist. You can boost your immunity by eating fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, exercising, and getting quality sleep.

6. Increased risk for heart attack

Some people may experience a heart attack from the shock and stress caused by bereavement. Stress can cause high blood pressure, heart rate rises, stress hormone cortisol levels to increase, and constricts blood vessels. Poor sleep, exercise, and unhealthy eating habits can further increase these health risks.

Optimizing your heart health is the best way to avoid them all. Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and avoid smoking. Also, make sure you are exercising regularly and eat healthy foods. Some medical conditions can be asymptomatic, meaning you might not realize it is affecting your health until later stages. Regular screenings can help you detect problems early so that you can get the treatment you need.

Here are some tips to help you manage your grief

  1. Let yourself grieve

It’s normal to cry. However, it can help you let go of sadness, anger, or confusion. You can also take time to reflect on positive memories of your loved one.

  1. Get moving

Even if you only go for a walk, being active can help ease the grief. You might be able to find new hobbies or ways to continue with your daily activities. A friend can join you as well.

  1. Keep an eye on your health

When grieving it can be easy for people to forget about their general health. You may end up skipping meals, sleeping, medication, or visiting the doctor. You should keep an eye on your health. For example, you could set a schedule to take medication, check your blood pressure, and go to medical appointments.

  1. Do not be afraid to ask for help

Grief is a part of everyday life. Sometimes, you don’t need to seek immediate medical attention. If you feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek out help from someone you trust, such as a loved one, counselor hotline, therapist, or psychiatrist.