Does Life Get Better After Loss? How to Deal With Grief

This time two summers ago, life hit me with the biggest reality check. I was fast asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning when I received a call that one of the most important people in my life passed suddenly. Since then, my life hasn’t been the same.

With this loss has came more loss. I lost family, I lost friends, and to make matters worse, I lost my home. For awhile, I felt hopeless. I felt like I was trapped in a hole that I couldn’t climb out of. Two years later, my life is back on track, but I’m still picking up the pieces.

The pain we experience from loss doesn’t just go away. It’s a feeling that could stay with us for a lifetime. It could take years to even be able to fully grasp the situation. As we try to continue with our lives, we realize how much this loss has impacted our daily life. Loss could bring about sudden panic attacks that haven’t occurred before, or could even lead to depression.

How do we cope with loss? First and most importantly, we need to understand and accept our emotions. Sit down and gather your feelings. Write it down if you have to. Are you sad that this presence in your life is gone? Are you angry with the world for taking this from you? Are you confused how this happened? Are you scared you will never overcome this? Whatever emotions you are feeling, sit with it. These feelings are normal after facing a major loss and shouldn’t be shoved aside. You can’t heal if you don’t grieve.

We also cannot grieve forever. Life goes on. Even though there may always be a hole in your heart, life does continue. You will find others to love. You will face more obstacles. You will be alright in time. Take time to focus on yourself and your needs. Take care of your health and work hard to achieve your goals. Be proud of yourself. Just because you faced loss doesn’t mean your journey is over. There is still so much this world has to offer. Don’t miss out.

This time two summers ago I thought my life was over. I started having panic attacks that would come at any given time. I didn’t think I’d be able to finish school. I didn’t think I’d have a future. Even though I was fortunate enough to receive lots of love, I still felt the most alone I’ve ever felt in my whole life. I felt like no one understood, and I believed it wouldn’t get better.

Two years later and I graduated from college a year early. I work for a great company and have just moved into my own apartment. I’m spending more time doing things I love and working to not take a second of my life for granted. Life isn’t perfect yet, and my heart may never be fully healed, but I’m working on myself and getting better everyday.

URGENT:
If you’re having a difficult time coping with loss and believe grief is taking a toll on your health, please seek help. Crying doesn’t make you weak, and neither does taking care of yourself, whether it be mentally or physically. There are many support groups out there that can help you work through your emotions.

If you’re feeling suicidal, seek help immediately. Talk to someone you trust, or call the suicide hotline at:

USA: 1-800-273-8255
UK: 08457 90 90 90
Australia: 13 11 14
Or find the helpline in your country on IASP

What I Eat in a Day

We all know how important it is to eat healthy, yet when given the option of eating broccoli versus chocolate, most of us will pick chocolate. I am equally as guilty as everyone else, as I’m only human for craving a bit of chocolate. However, once I changed my diet around and started eating healthier, I started craving chocolate less and less. Now that I am on a healthy diet with regular exercise, I don’t feel as guilty when I choose to indulge. It’s okay to indulge. As long as this indulgence doesn’t become your strict diet.

The nutrients we feed our bodies with affect our physical health and our mental health. Consuming the right foods will provide us with more energy throughout the day which will make the day much more bearable to get through. Having this energy will make you less groggy and make you more productive. I am not a nutritionist, and I know what works for me might not work for every person. I am not the fittest and healthiest person alive, but I do actively try to take care of my body. I wanted to share what I eat in a day, as I choose to eat healthier options that are still tasty and don’t deprive me of my sweets. I hope this provides you with some inspiration.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Nuts + Berries

This is a great breakfast to start the day. This is a meal very high in fiber and the berries will provide vitamin C and potassium. This meal will normalize your bowel movements, help lower your cholesterol, and help your immune system.

Lunch: Salad with Chicken, Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Cucumber, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

I know a salad sounds boring, but salads actually provide a lot of flexibility. You can dress your salad up however you want. Other fun additions that can be added into a salad include fruits like pineapple or even strawberries, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and beans. Have fun with it! Just do your best to pick a dressing that isn’t too fatty. Remember that salads consist of a lot of antioxidants, especially when adding in raw vegetables. This is great for your heart and can help combat infection.

Dinner: Chicken Breast Cooked in Olive Oil

Like salad, chicken sounds like a boring meal to many, but can be dressed up in many ways. I prefer cooking my chicken in a bit of olive oil, but other healthy additions could be lemon chicken, garlic chicken, or even something easier like putting a bit of quinoa on top of your chicken. There are many benefits to chicken breast, such as protein, heart health, and phosphorus. This will help your teeth and bones and can help fight arthritis. Another benefit many people may not know about is that chicken is high in tryptophan. This is an amino acid that will increase serotonin levels which will overall decrease stress, anxiety, and make you feel a little bit cheerier.

Snacks: Hard-boiled egg + cashews

I usually try to eat 1-2 small snacks per day, as this will help my cravings and satisfy me when I’m hungry. Eggs and cashews are two salty snacks, but with many health benefits. Eggs are high in protein and consist of healthy fats. Cashews are a great source of vitamins and minerals and contains Vitamin E, K, and B6 and minerals such as iron and selenium. This snack is great for building muscle, boosting your immune system, creating energy, and circulating oxygen.

Dessert: Mixed Berries + Honey

I like to finish my day off with something sweet. Mixed berries with honey is a great way to get my sweet fix while still eating something nutritious. Like stated before, berries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Berries are packed with antioxidants that can have long-term benefits. Honey is also full of antioxidants and can help lower triglycerides. This sweet dessert can help improve your memory as you age and can help keep your heart healthy.

Even little changes in your diet can make a huge difference. Just know that for every unhealthy snack you crave, there is a healthier alternative. Remember that while you might be craving the sugary snack now, eating something healthier will make you feel better in the long run.

8 Ways You Probably Didn’t Know Yoga Can Benefit You!

Yoga provides even more benefits than you think.  Not only is yoga a challenging workout that will help with your flexibility and strength, but yoga is an exercise like no other. Yoga can have an incredible influence on both your physical and mental health, providing spiritual benefits you may not be able to achieve from other workouts. Yes, yoga is a wonderful exercise for toning your body and improving your balance, but here are eight other benefits you can achieve by engaging in yoga.

1. Help Your Heart

Yoga is good for the heart and can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. The combination of physical exercise with meditation can help ease stress and lower blood pressure. Along with this, yoga is full of modifications and can be as challenging as you choose it to be, making it an ideal form of exercise for those with cardiovascular conditions.

2. Sleep Soundly at Night

If you’re battling insomnia at night, take a moment to do a few gentle yoga stretches. This will settle your mind, and make it easier to fall asleep. Adding a yoga practice to your daily routine can have incredible long-term effects on your sleeping behaviors, and can help you sleep more soundly through the night.

3. Cure Your Hangover

Yes, yoga can help fight even the most wicked hangover. Those mornings after a night of drinking when you just can’t get yourself out of bed, try doing a few yoga poses. Yoga helps with your metabolism, which will help you get rid of your hangover a little bit faster.

4. Helps to Conceive

Yoga is a great way to increase chances of conception. If you are stressed out about infertility, take a yoga class to calm your mind and increase blood flow. Just by doing this, you are already making yourself more likely to conceive.

5. Relieve Back Pain

Yoga is an amazing way to stretch out your muscles and increase flexibility. If you suffer from chronic back pain, yoga is one of the best activities you can do for it. Engaging in a daily yoga practice can stretch out the tightness and relieve pain.

6. Fight Your Food Cravings

Your food cravings likely come from boredom or over thinking. Yoga can stop both of these by getting you active and cleansing your mind. Next time you’re craving a sugary sweet you know you shouldn’t have, drink a glass of water and engage yourself in a mindful yoga practice.

7. Boost Your Confidence

Not only will yoga improve your posture, helping you appear more confident, but yoga will actually help you feel more confident. Getting involved in a frequent yoga practice will teach you self-love and self-acceptance through your mindful meditation.

8. Be happier!

If you are unsure if you should start practicing yoga or not, just know that one of yoga’s best benefits is its feel good effects. Yoga can aid your fight against depression or anxiety by stimulating serotonin in your brain that will automatically make you feel happier! Along with this, yoga is a great way to relieve stress and to practice mindfulness, which will overall help you develop a more positive mindset.

Although yoga may not be the answer to all of your life problems, it can certainly help and bring you numerous benefits. Take the time out of your day, whether it be 10 minutes or an hour, to engage in a daily yoga practice. Ease your mind and improve your health just by practicing a few sun salutations and focusing on your breath. Next time your hesitant to go to your yoga class, keep in mind all of these benefits.