Grief is a complex individual. She comes in many forms, has various levels of severity, and assumes multiple personalities. On Death and Dying, a book written in 1969 by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and coauthored by David Kessler, introduced the five stages of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (www.grief.com). These authors detailed what could be expected at each of the stages of loss and offered advice for successfully processing through each level.
While grief can be overwhelming for the individual who is experiencing it, it often proves to be a difficult process for those attempting to provide support to the bereaved as well. Questions related to what to say, how to say it, when to say it, or what to do, can be baffling for those watching a loved one suffer with grief. That is the purpose of this post, to offer some insight on how we can better extend love and support during this emotional time.
“How does she do it?” Many of us have asked this question, amazed at how the caregiver in question manages her household duties, takes care of her husband and children, and provides care for a chronically ill parent or loved one in addition to taking care of herself. We look through eyes of admiration at the strength and dedication she demonstrates and watch in awe as she provides loving care without voicing any complaints. Sometimes this care goes without thanks or appreciation and oftentimes it is at the expense of the caregiver’s physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial health. From our vantage point they seem to have it all together, juggling their numerous responsibilities without missing a beat. Though they may not voice it they could use our help. The question that we are going to answer is “what can we do to aid these selfless laborers of love?”
“You are what you eat.” This is an old quote that most of us have heard repeatedly from our mothers, health teachers, and/or our physicians over the years. What does it really mean? As a young child we may have thought we might wake up one morning transformed into a whopper, chicken nugget, or a slice of pizza, as an adult we know that this quote is not literal. It simply means that our food choices and non-choices have a direct bearing our mental and physical health. Since we know that food serves as more than just a substance for sustenance, it is critical for us to be mindful of our eating practices. If you could use some help in this area, keep reading, I’m going to share some ways that you can improve your eating habits.
Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling rested after sleeping? If you’re tossing and turning every night, counting sheep to no avail, falling asleep only to awaken in the middle of the night, or waking up and feeling like you haven’t been asleep at all, you are not alone. There are nearly 40 million Americans who are suffering from insomnia or some other sleep disturbance right along with you. (www.sleepfoundation.org). The reasons why you and they are up at night vary, but the effects of sleep deprivation are the same. Sleepless nights can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Therefore, I’m going to share some suggestions that will hopefully get your sleep back on track.