||December 12, 2017
I just lost my husband six months ago and I feel
tired so much of the time. Is that normal and
do you have any suggestions?
R, Columbus Ohio
given by Rachel Weinstein, MS, Psychotherapist
& Bereavement Specialist.
Rachel Weinstein is a Bereavement
Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science
in Applied Health Science and a Master of Science
in Education/Counseling Psychology from Indiana
University in Bloomington, Indiana. She has
worked as a psychotherapist in both private
practice and in the outpatient mental health
system. In 1995 she became interested in the
area of bereavement after the sudden death of
someone she loved prompted her to seek support
for herself. She subsequently became acutely
aware of what was missing in the way of support
and practical guidance through the grief process.
She has since obtained additional education
and experience in the area of grief support
and was the Coordinator of Client Care at the
Centre for Living with Dying in Santa Clara,
California. She maintains a private practice
in Monterey, California providing support, education,
and consultation for grief, loss, and life transition.
She offers workshops and presentations throughout
the country and is committed to providing compassionate,
responsible grief support and education. Rachel
can be reached at 831/476-5051, or HealingAll@GriefComfort.com.
is not only an emotional process, but a physical
one. Our bodies do not know the difference between
a physical trauma and an emotional one. So,
one thing we can do as we grieve is to honor
both our emotional and our physical needs. In
a nutshell, it’s important to get more
water, more rest, good nutrition, gentle movement
to break up the stress, and deep breaths.
you know that dehydration (and subsequent
thirst) is a common experience as we grieve?
Experiencing grief is likened to running a
marathon. Just like a marathon runner who
needs more water to meet the body’s
increased need, you need more water to hydrate
your body and help it meet its increased demands
during the challenge.
is also a symptom of grief. Just as we feel
more tired when we have the flu (because we
need to slow down in order to heal), in grief
our bodies also signals us to slow down so
that we can begin the healing process. Finding
time to rest or nap, if possible, during our
grief is so important. Holidays may be demanding,
but create an opportunity whenever you can
to honor your body’s need for rest.
This may require enlisting the help of others
to create an opportunity for you to nap or
“sleep in” a bit.
mindful of eating nutritiously is also important,
even though we may either have no appetite
or be prone to overeat out of stress. Give
your body the fuel it needs to take on additional
tasks during the holidays while dealing with
your emotional pain. Eat small nutritious
snacks throughout the day, even if it means
keeping some on hand in your car or workplace.
Your body also experiences the effects of
tension and stress, so working out the tension
through exercise and gentle stretches is important.
This may not be by getting a full “workout”
in, but through brisk walks, yoga or swimming,
for example. Massages are also a wonderful
way to work out the tension and stress in
Finally, because we all tend to be unaware
that we breathe shallowly (and even hold our
breaths) when we’re stressed, getting
deep breaths as often as possible is important.
Unsure how? Put your hand on your diaphragm
(just under your ribcage). Breathe in slowly
through your nose and exhale slowly through
your mouth. Your hand should rise up and down
with your breaths. In shallow breathing, our
chest rises and falls. Try getting 10 deep
breaths in whenever you feel tense, lightheaded,
or simply catch yourself holding your breath.
It’s a simple way to get your body the
oxygen it needs to help you move through your
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