Your gain: We’ll talk about why it’s so important to eat as healthy as possible (and hydrate!). Particularly, when enduring a loss to journeying through a hardship. And, I’ll give you my top 7 tips to make sure you can do this realistically and successfully.
Let’s be real, grieving can make it very challenging to focus on taking care of yourself, including maintaining a healthy diet. We might…
- Feel tired
- Feel uninspired to make anything
- Feel a lack of appetite due to stress or grief
- Feel pressure from duling responsibilities with taking care of family or children (and you end up coming last on that list)
- Feel overcome by our grief, and food and hydration is simply the last thing on our mind.
However, I need you to know that nourishing your body is an important part of the healing process and is something we must take seriously.
If you need additional support, check out this podcast episode on 4 tips to begin healing!
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite tips.
Be Gentile With Yourself
This is first and foremost (other than tip #2 below!). Understand that your appetite and eating habits may be affected during this time. It’s okay for that to ebb and flow! Give yourself permission to grieve and adjust your expectations accordingly. If there was ever a time to be gentle with yourself, it’s now!
This is so, so important. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can actually worsen fatigue and affect your overall well-being, grief or not! Studies show it’s important to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. I love having my 30 oz. Stanly Cup with me pretty much at all times, or at least a bottle where you can track the ounces fairly easily. Getting this hydration to your brain will truly work wonders in subtle ways.
Opt for Balanced Meals
As much as possible, try to include a combination of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in your meals. The goal is to aim for a variety of nutrient-dense foods to ensure you’re getting the necessary vitamins and minerals. Of course, this is always important! But with grief and trauma, we’re also more prone to getting sick and may have suppressed immune system. By filling our bellies with healthier foods and snacks, we can make sure we don’t get sick on top of already feeling our grief.
Simplify Meal Preparation
As you’re in the depths of acute grief especially, you may not have the energy or motivation to cook elaborate meals (or even a non-elaborate meal, really). Focus on simple and easy-to-prepare dishes. Consider batch cooking or preparing meals in advance to make it easier for yourself. I’m not even the most meal prep savvy of people, but this was truly a game-changer for me.
Accept Help From Others
I can’t express this enough–don’t hesitate to accept support from friends and family who offer to cook or bring you meals! We go into more detail about this in episode 4 of the podcast, but my girlfriends set up a meal train of sorts when my mom died and it was such a lifesaver. I usually hate asking for help, truly. I hate being a burden to people, but especially as we’re grieving, it’s so important to let our guard down a little and allow people to take care of you. This can not only relieve some of the burden, but also ensure you’re eating properly.
More on episode 4 here!
Listen To Your Body
Now is the best time to get to know yourself and your body again. It’s super important to pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Which, I know might be easier said than done right after a loss happens. No pressure here! It’s pretty simple, so this isn’t a revolutionary concept: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably satisfied. Try to avoid using food as a coping mechanism, but allow yourself to enjoy comforting foods in moderation if it helps you feel better. As I’ve talked about in my podcast, Taco Bell and McDonald’s breakfasts were something I totally relied on! I did so in moderation, but listen… I allowed myself to enjoy it.
Seek Professional Help and Inspiration
If you find that your grief is significantly impacting your eating habits, or if you’re experiencing disordered eating patterns, there’s zero shame in reaching out to a therapist, counselor, or coach who can provide guidance and support. Sometimes our eating habits are the result of grief that needs to be worked through, so in getting to the root of our feelings and emotions and addressing that at its core with a professional, oftentimes the healthy eating and our appetite will improve, too.
Remember, more than anything, that everyone grieves differently. It’s so important to give yourself grace, time and space to process everything that has and will continue to happen. And, understand that it takes our brain some time to catch up to our new reality! Slowly but surely you’ll find a groove that enables you to eat well and nourish yourself, but doesn’t take too much brain power or effort. It’s doable, I speak from experience!
Explore my Course and Freebies!
I have FOUR free tools you can take advantage of if you’re ready to step up your grief work. I’m so excited to share these with you! My Gratitude in Grief Journal Prompt, From Grief to Grinning Toolkit, A Practice in Presence Toolkit, and Creating a Vibrant Life Toolkit are ready and waiting for you to download. All you have to do is click here or the button below.
Needing some more in-depth grief education, coaching, and coping tools? Look no further—meet the Grief Becomes Gains Online Course! This course is over 20 hours and 10 modules of material that can be done at your pace, on your terms. Come back to it over and over as you need it, because once you own this, you own it for life! You also receive a 100+ page toolkit, a monthly coaching call with fellow grievers and me to connect and talk all things grief, and more.
Offer on Welkin Memorials Urns
Don’t forget! As a Losses Become Gains fan and reader, Welkin is giving you 10% off an order of any size urn with code LBG10 at checkout. Click here to shop! I swear, they’re truly the most stunning urns and pieces for your home you could possibly ask for, and I’m so happy I discovered Welkin Memorials when I did.