Max Izenberg, founder of the newsletter “Suddenly65,” focuses on how a healthy lifestyle impacts peoples’ health and well being.  She has written two books and various articles on health and wellness and her book “Who Took My Chocolate Cake?” is dedicated to helping seniors maintain their health and zest for life as they move through the years.  You may find even more information about keeping vitality in your life no matter what your age at her blog.

We tend to think of grieving as purely an emotional issue. But it is actually much more than emotion. Medical science now reveals that the anguish and heartbreak of losing someone you loved also affects you physically.

Grieving, along with a variety of emotions, is unfortunately part of our lives. When you endure sorrow for the loss of a loved one, it can impact your health in various ways. It can affect your immune system, it can alter the way you think, it can cause actual physical pain with stomach aches and headaches – in other words, cause your entire system to go completely out of balance.

grieving support

Consequently, during these devastating times, it is of vital importance to maintain your physical health. The good news is that there are many things you can do in order to stay in the best shape possible health wise.

Diet. Drinking enough water, eating as healthy as possible and avoiding sugar are of primary importance. The irony here is that friends and relatives will stop by with sweets hoping to sweeten your life in some small way. However, sugar could actually have the opposite effect. The consumption of sugar especially during this time should be cut back drastically because physically it doesn’t help your body in a healthy way.

Exercise. It’s important to get out and walk in the open air every morning even if it’s only for a few minutes since walking is so therapeutic. You would be amazed just how helpful daily exercise can be. Walking delivers needed oxygen to the brain cells so it can actually aid in physically feeling better.

Sleep. How about your sleep? Although getting enough sleep becomes a crucial necessity during this time, this could be just the time that beneficial sleep seems to elude you. Take heed of what sleep experts say – leave your cell phone in another room and do not watch your TV in bed. Consider putting on earphones and listening to soothing music. Or maybe drink some calming tea prior to retiring for the night.

Support. This is a general term, but just take a moment and think about all the little things that are there to support you. It could be all those friends who reached out to offer support — consider taking them up on their offers of help however that is manifested. Do you like to read or listen to music? You may have been neglecting these wonderful escapes, so commit to reading some inspirational poems, articles or books each day, or listening to uplifting music. Whatever it is that you love — do it! Think about the things in your past that made you happy, then put them to good use during this time. These things take on such importance as each day goes by.

These are all ways to keep your health from spiraling downward. Do some of them each day, but especially concentrate on healthy foods and getting enough sleep. Maintaining a healthy body will help speed up the day when some of the dark clouds are lifted and life can become somewhat more normal, although possibly never back to the normal you would have preferred. Hopefully, when times of heartbreak and sorrow are upon us, we can count on our overall health and wellbeing to kick in as if life were somehow back to the days we remember prior to the sadness.