When you lose someone close you to, it can often feel like someone has physically stolen your ability to breathe, eat, sleep — to go on. Grief comes in many forms, but the universal effect is that a piece of you is missing. Something has changed and getting back on your feet often just doesn’t seem possible. At least, this is exactly how I’ve felt when I’ve lost someone close to me.
Perhaps things won’t be quite the same as it was before your loss. You will eventually get back to your everyday. And life does go on: kids need you, work needs you, friends need you, life needs you. This can be overwhelming — especially when you’re grieving — but remember, small changes can make a world of impact.
This is your new normal. And that takes getting used to. The good news is that time does heal you–and you have the key to unlock your power to heal already in your possession.
The first step is to put your oxygen mask back on you first. Before you can take care of anyone else, you need to put self-care on your priority list. If you can care of yourself–and I can show you how–you’ll get through the difficult times a bit quicker and, I promise you, way stronger than you ever thought possible.
And so, where to begin? In my new book, GLOW15, I focus on the importance of self-care and it all starts with making small tweaks to your choices. You must find the strength to commit to nourishing yourself. So, I want to you actually do that right now. Say it outloud: “I will take care of myself.”
Now, let’s talk about some of these quick switches that you can make right now:
Stay Away from Drive Thru: I know fast food seems like the comfort you’re seeking. It’s quick, it’s satisfying. But know that it also tricks your brain’s pleasure center, which can become confused with pleasure versus reward. Fast food and self-care do not belong in the same sentence. Period. In my book GLOW15 (and the companion Glow Kitchen Cookbook) I’ve given you a list of real comfort foods: nourishing ingredients and delicious recipes that you can eat (like red wine, chocolate and healthy fats!)
Exercise, Do It: The last thing you may feel like doing is breaking a sweat, but I will tell you that when it comes to exercise, less can be more. In GLOW15, I have science-back evidence to show that even a half hour of HIIT (high intensity interval training) several days a week can be the key to unlocking your body’s fat-burning reserves and releasing serotonin and feel good hormones that will help you actually feel happier. Find a friend to help you get moving–and see how that body reset can become your mind’s best friend.
Get to Sleep: I know, sleep seems so difficult when you’re going through a loss — and yet, you’re utterly exhausted. It’s a terrible cycle and a hard one to break. But how and when you sleep can completely affect your ability to heal. Science shows that sleep deprivation is directly linked to increased cortisol levels and weight gain. Sleeping in regular cycles, with a break from digital devices, and daily meditation can actually help your body rebound. I love to use apps on my smartphone to help me regulate my sleep cycle–and I have so many tips in my book about regulating your REM. Give yourself a chance to dream.
It’s Not Just What You Eat, It’s When You Eat: When we are down or feeling depressed, eating too little or too much is frequently a trap. So, make a conscious plan of not just what you eat, but when you eat as well. I challenge you to keep a wellness diary, and keep track of your nutrition. And if you’re ready for a real mind-and-body reboot, try the new science-backed program I discuss in GLOW15. Your body likely needs a detox–but it doesn’t need to be with a cleanse, supplements or anything you need to buy. The key to self-detox is unmuting your body’s autophagy (a biological process already within you). You can do this with intermittent fasting and protein cycling on specific days of your week. Within as little as 15 days, you’ll not only clear away the cellular junk that’s built up, but also clear your mind. How do you do this exactly? I cover the Nobel Prize winning research on this process in GLOW15.
These are just a few ideas that I have for you–but most of all–I am here for you. Remember that your happiness is worth recovering, and even though it can feel impossible to go on, you have so much to live for. So get your body strong, and your mind will follow. I’m here to help you help yourself. Let’s glow together.
Naomi Whittel is widely recognized as the one to watch in the “wellness from within” space. Named by Prevention the nation’s leading female innovator in the natural products industry, Naomi is hailed as a trailblazer and an advocate of purity and potency in nutraceuticals. As CEO of Twinlab Consolidated Holdings, Naomi continues to deliver on her promise to help millions thrive with award-winning supplements they know will truly help them.
A premier wellness partner for QVC, Naomi has also been recognized as one of the leading innovators in the natural products industry by Whole Foods Magazine in their exclusive “Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers”.
Her story and products have been lauded by The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, ABC News, PBS, InStyle, The View, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, SHAPE, Access Hollywood, Natural Solutions, Good Morning America, Today Show and more.
She is a steward of sustainability, a sought-after keynote speaker, including the United Nations and a member of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Naomi lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband and their four children. Read her blog at Naomiwhittel.com, and follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.