Have you ever caught yourself holding your shoulders up by your ears because you’re stressed? Grief can have a similar effect on your body and, if you’ve ever been or are currently going through it (grief through the holidays is very common), you may know what we mean.
Throughout Grief Care Fellowship’s time, we’ve heard of many cases where someone will feel physically ill or be in pain after a loved one has passed. If this is the case for you, you are not alone and you are not losing your mind. Physical maladies are not an uncommon complaint among those who are grieving.
- Digestion Concerns – Have you ever felt that uneasy pit in your stomach? Grief can manifest itself in gut issues, stomach aches, loss of appetite, and nausea.
- Chest Pain/ Tightness – The phrase “broken heart” really makes sense once you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, especially a particularly close loved one and felt the heaviness of grief in your chest.
- Muscle Stiffness and Pain – Shoulders migrating up your neck and jaw clenching causing pain in the muscles around your jaw and neck both are common stress responses our bodies will take on without us even realizing it. This can lead to pain in your back and neck or cause headaches. Grieving a loved one is truly a stressor on our bodies, which can cause even more physical pain long term.
- Disruption of Sleep Patterns – You may find yourself on either end of a spectrum, wanting to do nothing but sleep to cope with the loss of a loved one or experiencing post-loss insomnia and spending many sleepless nights trying to get some sleep or getting lost in your mind.
You are not alone in feeling these changes the stress of grief makes to your body. If you’re visiting a physician about your post-loss physical ailments, please let them know of this major life change as it may even change your treatment plan you will take. Grief takes quite a toll on the brain, too, especially if the manner of loss is traumatic or unexpected (such as in the case of a tragic accident or suicide). Your mental health is important, and we’d love to help you work through the emotions grief brings out.
Hope Beyond Grief Through The Holidays
This time of year is always tough for someone who’s lost a loved one. Grief through the holidays can leave you feeling isolated whether it’s your first holiday without your loved one or your 20th. It’s important to reach out to others and embrace the spirit of the season with a strong support system, like your church, family, or neighbors.
It’s especially prudent to take care of your physical self and the effects grief may have on it with the colder weather and other seasonal ailments circling around making things harder on your body.
If you are experiencing grief through the holidays or grief from the suicide of a loved one or you know someone dealing with grief, please contact us today to take your life back from grief and find joy this time of year again.