This post was written by John Moreno, a Fitbit health coach. Fitbit health coaches are here to provide support, guidance, and accountability on your personalized health journey. All our coaches are certified health coaches or licensed professionals with rigorous training in behavior change.
We will all grieve for something at some time in our lives. It is unfortunately one of life’s inevitabilities. Some abnormal life event will come along and shake us to our core. A diagnosis, a loss of a loved one, a relationship ending, or even something having to do with our profession. And how we respond to that grief will differ from person to person.
There are five recognized stages of grief and many of us will proceed through these stages differently and at different times. The five stages are denial, depression, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Awareness and understanding of these stages can be helpful.
It’s also important to remember that taking care of our health is just as important as we move fluidly through those stages, as it is at any other time. A healthy lifestyle can aid in the process.
So here are some tips to help you remain healthy while you grieve:
Acknowledge your feelings/emotions. Understand that you’re going to experience a host of emotions and that’s okay. Give yourself grace and permission to feel sad, depressed, angry, or lonely. This is all part of the process; but keep in mind that any negative emotions that continually last for long periods of time should be discussed with a professional.
Delegate things to be done. You may lose interest, motivation, or energy to complete certain chores. Friends and loved ones will likely volunteer to help throughout this time, and yet most people rarely take them up on those offers. Try writing down a list of things that you might need help accomplishing, so when they ask if you need anything, you’ll have something to reference. Providing a list of things you need help with, like grocery shopping, mopping, or mowing the lawn, your friends and family a few options to choose from and identify where they can be of most service. You’ll be happy those tasks are being managed, and they will be glad they could help.
Remain active. Even a little physical activity can go a long way. You don’t have to put in a full-body circuit workout, but plan out time for basic physical movement and build on that as time progresses. Fitbit Premium has a great selection of workouts you can do from home in as little as 10 minutes. A neighborhood walk, quick HIIT workout, some light jogging, or something calming—like yoga or stretching—can help your body and mind. Working out can help release any tension, as well as give you a feeling of accomplishment, which can have a trickle-down effect on the rest of your day.
Talk to someone. As with the first item on this list, it’s important to acknowledge your emotions; but, even more so, it’s important for you to talk to someone you trust about them, whether it be a professional, a friend, or a family member. If that isn’t an option, look for groups to help. Fitbit has a great community with many groups ranging from eating healthy, diabetes, walking, and strength training, to family and feeling good. Having someone to speak about what you’re feeling is crucial to processing your grief and various emotions. Saying those thoughts out loud and even posing or answering questions can help you better understand things and continue your progress to healing.
Eat. Some people experience a loss of appetite when dealing with grief. Going through the process of cooking a meal might be difficult for some, which could lead to reaching for the convenience of ordering out. Giving your body the proper fuel it needs to continue functioning is important during this time. Accept meals from friends and family if you can and nourish your body as best you are able.
Schedule things. Many people may isolate themselves while they grieve. If you can figure out what works best for you to get out of the house a few times a week and avoid isolating, that may help. Look at your calendar and find time to get out, whether it be by yourself or with friends and family. This socialization can help us laugh a little and distract us from our thoughts for a few hours.
Remember, the process of grieving will undoubtedly vary from person to person. And while our overall health may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it can be integral for the healing process. Take your time as you move through your healing and if you can keep these steps in mind, they may help you through a difficult time.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.