Can Eating Healthy Help With the Grieving
Everything in life is connected. Our physical body, spiritual and mental wellness for example. So with this said you may wonder if eating healthy can help with the grieving process.
Grief is a process that at sometime we will all come to know in some from. After loss there is grief and grieving is a process. And while much about grief is unknown there are things we can do to help us move through it.
Eating a diet rich in whole foods will help balance hormones and keep our body working as it should. This is a time to keep our strength up by boosting our immune system. We support our immune system by eating nutrient rich food, packed with vitamins and minerals. This includes eating enough protein, fiber and a balance of carbohydrates. And preferably organic food when possible.
To help you begin here are a few healthy eating tips that can help you get through the grieving process.
Tips on How to Eat When Grieving
As you work your way through grief, especially at the beginning, you’ll need a bit more help in the meal planning department. Here are some tips on eating when grieving to get what you need.
- Prepare frozen meals in advance so you can thaw them out fast when you need something healthy.
- If it seems too overwhelming to clean real plates and utensils right now, just use paper plates and plastic utensils. When eating healthy is a priority, a few disposable plates is the last thing you should be worrying about.
- Try some new recipes. When we are moving through the grieving process we can seek out healthy distractions like cooking. Gather up ingredients and turn on some soothing background music while you make a new meal and consider inviting someone to share it with.
- Stay away from processed food. It may taste good in the moment, but it certainly won’t keep you eating healthy through the grieving process. Stock up on fresh produce, organic protein such as chicken, nuts, and homemade trail mixes.
- Plan out a few days’ worth of meals in advance. This will give you a guideline to follow so you don’t feel overwhelmed each day debating about what to make for dinner.
Healthy Diets and Self-Care
Losing a loved one turns your life upside down. You may neglect the basics like your own well-being and health as you navigate through the emotional pain. But maintaining your physical and mental health is critical at this time. Here are some tips for self-care:
- Eat well – A well-balanced diet can help you withstand the stress of grieving, says Harvard Medical School. Eat lots of vegetables, fresh whole fruits, and lean proteins. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you are caught up in grieving!
- Take time to eat– If you don’t have much of an appetite these days, start with small portions of healthy food more frequently throughout the day.
- Take a daily supplement designed for grief and stress. Add a daily multivitamin to the mix to cover any missing nutrients.
- Increase protein intake – Between 10 and 30 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from protein.
- Take your medications – Because grief makes you more susceptible to illness, you need to keep on top of taking your regular medications.
- Get lots of sleep- Grief is exhausting. It is okay to take short naps during the day if you are feeling fatigued. It is a time that sleep is disrupted so getting enough one way or another will help until you begin to sleep better as you process through grief.
- Ease up on the caffeine – Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol, can make you jittery and add to anxiety so try herbal teas like camomile tea and calming blends.
- A little exercise – It doesn’t have to be much: a walk around the block, a yoga session, a bike ride, or Pilates. Try some kickboxing if you want a more intense workout to kick out the anger that comes with grief. Whatever you choose, know that exercise offers a healthy distraction when you need to take a pause from grieving, or take quite time when you need quiet time to embrace your loss.
- Exercise – Given the physical and emotional toll that grief takes on your body, you may want to hold off on the strenuous workout routines for now. Start slow and build up when moving through grief. And trust you will again get back to your new normal. e.
- Avoid risky behavior – Some people, after experiencing a profound loss, justify using coping strategies that could be dangerous as a distraction. Drinking excessively, using drugs, and engaging in other types of self-destructive behaviors like gambling and sex all have a potential to become addictions if left unchecked.
- Put off big decisions –Grief clouds your normal thought processes. Take a little time to consider and think about what to do next. And don’t make abrupt decisions that you could regret later. You might want to consider waiting a year before making a move, like selling a house or clearing out mementos you may wish you had done at the time.
- Take small steps – take on day at a time, make plans, have a list and work through things slowly. If you make a decision that doesn’t feel right, it is okay to put it off and reevaluate again in a few weeks or a few months.
- Engage in self-care: Take time out for you. Meditate, call a buddy for coffee, go on a girls’ night, or go shopping with a friend, if nothing else than to take a break from grieving.
Concluding Eating Healthy When Grieving
Grief takes time to adjust to, part of the healing process will take some time to adjust to. A daily routine, along with eating well, some exercise and some good company will work wonders as you process and move through grief.