Author: Rachelle Beltinck
Whether you are experiencing a great loss or a big change, the grief and hardships experienced during tough times can be uncomfortable at best. These unfortunate life events can happen suddenly and unexpectedly or they may be a prolonged and painful process. When our hearts ache and our stress levels rise, it can be difficult to focus on anything good and our own health often becomes one of our last priorities (can you say the VERY back burner?).
When your well-being is suffering, try these tips to refocus on your health:
1. Lean on your support system
Spending time with loved ones and connecting with others can be therapeutic. Call a friend, join a local support group, find a penpal or online message board with others who have experienced similar problems. You may even find support where you wouldn’t think to go first (i.e. your Noom support group!). People often want to help during times of tragedy, and you may find that someone identifies with your situation, too! Ask for what you need and accept it when it’s offered.
2. Practice basic self-care
During times of high stress and emotional unrest, this may be difficult to accomplish. Many of us want to turn to food for comfort, but this can often leave you feeling worse. Be kind to yourself and try to focus on coping with your emotions in a more positive way. Make an effort to eat balanced meals, drink more water and set aside time to sleep. This will help keep your body strong and healthy while you heal mentally and emotionally.
3. Find joy and meaning in your life
There will be a new normal for you. You will gradually start to feel better and you can start today with a little bit of joy. What is something you like to do but may not have done in awhile? Schedule 5 minutes or more to regularly do that something. For example, journaling, meditating, taking a walk, coloring or crafting, reading, playing computer games or watching your favorite reruns are great ways to relax and refocus on YOU! If you have the time, volunteering may also be a great way to connect with others and give your life a deeper purpose while you recenter and work on your well-being.
4. Take your time
We can’t ignore the tough and earth-shaking experiences that we go through (no matter how bad we want to!). There will be many aspects of life that are outside of our control. Feeling helpless in these tough situations can be unsettling and frustrating, but it is important to sit with these emotions and to know they are a natural response. Rushing through heartache isn’t an option. Just like physical injuries, emotional pain takes time to heal. Give yourself that time to process and to feel what you feel, when you feel it. Your body and spirit will thank you!