In grieving, you feel down and lost. Depression and sadness sink in. You either forgot your urge to eat, or you binge-eat just anything, not taking into consideration the food you choose. Mind you, some foods can worsen your depression, and there are also some that will help improve it.
Whether the death of a loved-one is expected due to a chronic illness or from an untimely demise brought about by accidents, the grieving process is a huge and stressful challenge. It feels like a part of your body has been amputated, a big part of your life has been taken away, a permanent loss of something very significant. An inevitable part of life that will require you to reprogram and restart a new chapter without them. So, how do we stay strong from this powerful blow of life? How do we cope with this stressful event and move on to the next chapter of our lives bringing only memories of the ones dear to us?
I am witness to the grief and overwhelming sadness of having to lose a loved one – a brother. I was broken, angry, guilty, depressed – and much more. I could only imagine how more magnified those emotions were felt by my parents. Like most parents, mine never thought their son would leave this world ahead of them, and acceptance of that fact was one of the most difficult ordeals that they had, perhaps even until now.
The demise of a loved one almost always leaves us stuck in depression and grief, and some of us remain that way because we do not know how to move forward. However daunting it may be, we soon realize that we must get up and overcome the stage of bereavement to follow the road to recovery – because life must go on.
Moving on is part of the stage of loss that goes along with acceptance. It is the time when one has come to a realization that their loved one is gone and we are left only with vivid memories of them and their lives with us. As for me, moving forward means realizing that my brother is no longer here to joke around with, to fight with, and to share stories with. I still miss him, though, sorely, but I had found healthy and helpful ways to remember him and move forward at the same time, and I’m going to share them here.
Keep yourself busy. Initially, you’re going to have to dump yourself with work to keep your mind off your loss and believe me, it helps. If your job entails you to report to the office by 8 am, leave the house at 7 if you’ve been awake since dawn. You’d be more productive working than depressing over something that cannot be undone. If you’re a home-based mom like I am, write your heart out. Work when you’re done taking care of your family. If nothing comes to mind, search for a new recipe and make it for supper. Do something worthwhile.
Keep in touch with old friends. I had a friend who lost her boyfriend of two years – from a heart attack. They were supposed to get married in a few months. She was devastated and she went away for some time. She kept in touch with me when she learned about the tragic death of my brother, and it was such a blessing that we reunited and rekindled our friendship. We helped each other heal our hurts by talking about them, crying over them, and attending worship service together. Sometimes it feels much better to be with people who have gone through what you’ve gone through.
Live, and I mean just that. Continue living life with the fond memories of your loved one always in your heart. I have learned to talk about my happy memories with my brother among my friends and family. To be honest, tears still start to show, but only because I miss him, not because I have not accepted his death. It is only but right for us – along with those who have experienced sadness and grief from bereavement – to live our lives and make it worthwhile, because death comes for us, too – for all of us.
The passing of a loved one is a sensitive subject that this article will not touch on but rather on what to do with the possessions afterward. Do you keep everything in a box and hide it in the closet? Is your box made from cardboard or of glass material? If it’s in a glass where everyone can see, it may look creepy. Well, that depends on the item and the sentimental value that it has to you. Here’s an interesting article that would be great for future discussions.
What’s To Treasure
*Anything with a story
This is slightly different from gifts with sentimental value because this is a story that you want to share which opens a world of possibilities. Perhaps you can place this item on a glass pedestal somewhere or in a frame where all can see it. If this sounds interesting, do read on.
Not everything has a story that we are willing to share outside of family or with a therapist. Items with sentimental value are better placed somewhere with the least amount of people can see, such as the bedroom, or the family room.
Depression is a mental health condition that is very rampant nowadays. Everyone who is suffering from depression is advised to seek medical consultation. The usual treatment for depression is through a variety of therapies together with the right prescriptions. These medicines are usually prescribed to treat the negative symptoms of depression, however, these medicines have side effects as well.
Below are some helpful natural ways to battle off depression.
There are actually foods high in serotonin, or the brain chemical responsible for making you happy:
• sour cherries
Foods that are high in tryptophan allow your body to convert them into serotonin which as you know is a mood booster:
High carbohydrate foods also help tryptophan to flood in your brain to increase serotonin. Whole wheat grains are a good option for a high carb diet.
A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acid help fight off depression as well:
• kidney beans
• black beans
Take your vitamins
There was a study conducted that shows regular intake of 600 mg of chromium picolinate a day can boost your mood and decrease other symptoms associated with depression.
400 mcg of folate as well may help in your depression
Every morning try to look in the mirror and force yourself to smile, it can actually lift your mood.
Try to sleep in a different bedroom
Most people with depression are also insomniac. A study says that changing your sleep location can actually help you sleep better. Try also to wake up at the same time every day and don’t take a nap during day time. Try to do some relaxing techniques before you go to bed such as drinking chamomile tea and doing some breathing exercises.
Make a different routine
Sometimes continuing your regular daily routine can get pretty boring. Why not try a different route on your way home, or just go on an unplanned weekend travel. Try a new restaurant that you have never been to. Change your regular styling in clothing. Just do something that you do not regularly do, it will lift up your mood. Try it!
Natural sunlight has been proven to boost your mood. That is why during winter, most people feel more depressed than usual. Take a 10-minute walk outside or in the park every day. Do this as often as you like.
Countless studies have proven that regular exercise really has tremendous health benefits. One of these is that it naturally increases the levels of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin which is the so called “feel good hormone”. Regular exercise can keep the level of serotonin at a good level to fight off depression. Find an exercise regimen that you will enjoy and will work for you. Maybe you can enroll at the new gym in your place, try yoga, hiking, biking, running, dance class etc. Let the natural sunlight of nature and exercise help you.
Missing My Brother
My brother will be turning 42 tomorrow – if he would have been alive to witness his birthday. Oh, how he loved celebrating his birthdays. He would be ecstatic when there were family gatherings and parties, especially his own. When everyone was complete, including his long lost friends, he would wear his dashing smile all night.
And food – too much food – was one of his weaknesses. He would eat breakfast three times – once in their house, another at my mom and dad’s, and third at mine. That’s why despite the drug addiction that he was into and the many problems he had, he never looked like someone who was broken inside.