by Joy Johnson, co-founder
I confess. I don’t. When I need to be the healthiest is when I most ignore myself and when grief bats me over the head, I REALLY ignore my health. (I exempt ice cream and other comfort foods from the ignoring categories.)
The thing is, we all know what to do to stay healthy while we grieve. The trick is in actually doing it.
- Eat healthy foods (not over or under eating)
- Drink a lot of water and juices
- Take your grief for a walk to run or to water aerobics
And we also know to be healthy in all the ways we grieve:
- Emotionally: crying when we need to cry, allowing ourselves to laugh, knowing there is a future for us, letting our hearts ache, commemorating and remembering our loved ones, talking – talking – talking, journaling.
- Spiritually: letting God, the universe or whatever your faith belief, know how you feel. Grab ahold of spirituality and faith if you find them helpful, find comfort in ritual.
- Physically: see above, including the ice cream idea.
- Mentally: here is where we at Centering Corporation come in. We do books on grief and have for nearly 35 years. Books serve the mental needs of grief, let you know you’re not alone, and help you find ways to grieve healthy as well. Even if you only read one page a day it helps. Some people have said they keep their grief book beside their toilet and read when they go to the bathroom. Hey – it’s a really good idea. One page a day because we can’t concentrate through War and Peace.
Another healthy aspect of mental grieving comes from Kelly Osmont in her excellent little book, More than Surviving: Caring for Yourself While You Grieve.
“Your thoughts can direct the way you feel. If you decide that the world is a lousy place to be in, that nobody cares about anybody else, and that there is no reason to ever feel happy again, then your feelings will match your thoughts. The world will match your beliefs.”
There are other good books to help you when you grieve. I’ve listed four good ones here in addition to Kelly’s basic book:
- Grief by Joy and Dr. Marvin Johnson. What it is and what we can do about it. Simple, easy, to the point.
- Moving to the Middle of the Bed by Sheila Weinstein. Gives a good look at widowhood
- Widowers Toolbox by G. J. Schaefer. Absolutely great for men
- Keys to Helping Children Deal with Death and Grief by Joy Johnson. What every family needs
Check These Books Out in GOOD GRIEF BOOKS
When we founded Centering Corporation so long ago, support groups were almost non-existent and there were only seven books on grief. We’ve come so far so fast, and a lot of credit goes to the loving folks who create newsletters like you’re reading right now. We wish you safe and rich journeys through your sorrows.
About the Author: Joy Johnson, along with her husband, Dr. Marvin Johnson, founded the Centering Corporation in 1977. Centering is North America’s oldest and largest bereavement resource center. They also founded Ted E. Bear Hollow, a center for grieving children in Omaha, where they lived. Currently Joy is authoring a series of novels; comedy mysteries called: The BOOB Girls: the Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12.