Health,  Well-Being

Setting Healthy Goals While Grieving

Written by Camille Johnson

Grieving is a process everyone goes through at some point in life. As difficult as it is, you can take steps to help you get through it. Although it may not feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to accept help or support. But above all, be kind to yourself by caring for your own body and spirit. Sticking to healthy goals, even when grieving, can help you stay engaged with life and the wider world. Here are some tips.

Don’t Isolate

It’s a natural human impulse to isolate when hurt, but you may need emotional support when you return to work. While you don’t have to share your grief with the whole world, make sure your immediate managers and a few close colleagues know what you’re going through. 

Working from home can be particularly isolating and can amplify feelings of sorrow and loss if you’re grieving. Combat this by setting firm boundaries about how much of your time is spent working — and don’t be tempted to overwork as a way to keep your mind off things. During the workday, find small ways to stay in contact virtually with your team and co-workers, even when you’re not meeting on Zoom or working on the same project.

Take Care of Yourself

Initial responses to grief may include letting yourself go and not paying attention to your personal well-being. Fight this — because self-care is never more important than at a time of loss. Besides sticking to a healthy diet, moderating alcohol consumption, and promoting good sleep hygiene, consider undertaking wellness practices, such as yoga or mindfulness meditation. These activities are simple and inexpensive to pursue on your own or with online support and guidance. Many people find these practices, as well as therapeutic massage or aesthetic treatments, can restore a sense of agency and balance to a grieving process that can leave you feeling out of control. And staying well keeps you strong for the long haul — the impacts of grief can take a long time to diminish.

Use Your Senses for Comfort

A little self-pampering can help you keep healthy goals in sight during a period of grieving and loss. Think about all the things you find comforting. It may be exposing yourself to more light, getting sun each day, or upping interior wattage on drearier days. Perhaps it’s surrounding yourself with comforting smells, soft fabrics and cushions, or frequent healthy snacks. Perhaps you find comfort in furry animals — now may be a good time to adopt a new pet or perhaps just spend time with a friend’s dog or cat.

Keep Moving

Movement is life and can offer unique benefits. Frequent walks are one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, whatever your emotional circumstances. Go alone or with a friend who understands what you’re going through.

When you’re ready, return to physical activities that you may enjoy, such as dancing or swimming, both of which can boost endorphins and take you out of yourself. Movement doesn’t make your grief go away, but it can make it easier to manage. 

More Tips for Coping With Grief

Work through your grief at your own pace through self-care, exercise, and socialization. Check out the Salus Update blog for more helpful tips about maintaining healthy goals while grieving.

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