Taking Care of Yourself While Grieving

After losing a spouse or partner, you may find that taking care of details and keeping busy helps. But, there comes a time when you will have to face the change in your life.

  • Take care of yourself. Grief can be hard on your health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep. Bad habits, such as drinking too much alcohol or smoking, can put your health at risk.
  • Try to eat right. Some grieving people lose interest in cooking and eating. It may help to have lunch with friends. Sometimes, eating at home alone feels too quiet. Turning on the radio or TV during meals can help. For information on nutrition and cooking for one, look for helpful resources at your local library or check out NIA’s booklet on healthy eating, What’s on Your Plate.
  • Talk with caring friends. Let family and friends know when you want to talk about your spouse or partner. They may be grieving too and may welcome the chance to share memories. Accept their offers of help and company, when possible.
  • Visit with members of your religious community. Many people who are grieving find comfort in their faith. Praying, talking with others of your faith, reading religious or spiritual texts, or listening to uplifting music may also bring comfort.
  • See your doctor. Keep up with visits to your healthcare provider. If it has been awhile, schedule a physical and bring your doctor up to date on any pre-existing medical conditions and any new health issues that may be of concern. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble taking care of your everyday activities, like getting dressed or fixing meals.

Visit the NIA website to learn more about mourning the death of a spouse.

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