Grieving the loss of a loved one is tremendously taxing on your physical and emotional wellbeing. As people age, they face the challenge of bereavement more and more often. It can have devastating effects on health. There are very practical steps for coping with the effects of grief that include everything from mindfulness practices to human connection to nutrition and exercise. The Wickshire Senior Living Wise and Well Program is in place to help enhance and maintain all aspects of wellness in our residents.
If you are interested in Wickshire Senior Living, our Wise and Well Program, and how we can offer support through bereavement, contact us today. It is easy to connect with one of our knowledgeable and friendly staff by filling out our online form or simply calling 833.497.4390.
The Journey of Coping With Loss
Grief, bereavement, mourning – these are all words we use to describe the way we feel when someone we love is lost to us. The process of grief unfolds over time, and the physical and emotional symptoms can also change and evolve.
Physically, your body is affected in numerous ways. Some of the physical side-effects of grief include:
- Increased pain related to the physical stress of grief, including headaches, stomach aches, and general body aches
- Increased inflammation, which underlies and exacerbates numerous health issues
- Compromised immune system, leaving you tired and vulnerable to illness
- Cardiovascular effects such as increased blood pressure, blood clots, and heart disease
- Insomnia, a symptom that can exacerbate other symptoms as sleep is needed for health
- Substance abuse to mute emotional suffering is another common result of chronic grief
Emotionally, as you feel the overwhelm of loss, you experience disbelief, confusion, sorrow, despair, yearning, anger, guilt, and so many other feelings that batter your sense of wellbeing. These are normal, but unchecked can result in serious depression, chronic anxiety, and other serious mental health concerns.
Tips for Healing from Grief
You never stop feeling the sadness that accompanies loss, but coping with loss is important for moving forward, staying healthy, and supporting others in their grief. There are unhealthy ways to cope with loss, such as substance use or giving up on life. The healthy practices that Wickshire Senior Living’s Wise and Well Program promotes might include many of the following:
- Reach out for support – You do not have to do this alone. Whether friends, family, or a counselor – get help during your grieving process.
- Be sure you sleep – Sleep is when your body purges toxins, resets mentally and physically and replenishes your reserves. You will find coping with loss is more manageable when rested.
- Eat a healthy, immunity-boosting diet – The body’s reaction to bereavement can compromise your immune system, so be sure to support your own health and immunity with a healthy diet.
- Share your feelings openly – Suppressing your emotions is damaging, not only to you but to others who see you modeling this unproductive method of “coping.” Stuffing negative emotions such as sorrow, anger, or grief causes spikes in stress hormones that negatively impact health.
- Practice mindfulness – meditation, tai chi, yoga, and other practices are proven to reduce stress, increase “good” neurotransmitters within the brain, amplify feelings of wellbeing, and encourage overall health within the body’s systems.
- Get exercise – All it takes is one walk a day to feel the beneficial effects exercise has on your mental and physical wellness. Exercise is proven to combat anxiety, depression, and the symptoms of grief. Ask a friend to join you in a movement class or for a daily walk. Having an accountability partner can help when sadness leaves you unmotivated.
Wise and Well Program at Wickshire Senior Living
One of the benefits of an assisted living residence like Wickwhire Senior Living is the availability of numerous programs that promote health, community, and satisfaction. If you are healing from grief at Wickshire, you can join a meditation group or exercise class, find the support of friends and peers who understand loss, ensure a healthy diet, and be supported by staff and fellow residents.
Our signature Wise and Well Program is in place to monitor your progress as you heal from grief and cope with other life stressors. Our goal is to support your health and longevity as you enjoy retirement at Wickshire Senior Living. Let us talk you through our various options and invite you for a visit. Call 833.497.4390 or fill out our online form if you want to connect to someone with answers to all your questions.