4 Unexpected Side Effects of Grief

Our dedicated staff at Krause Funeral Home knows how arduous the grief journey can be.  Grief is a full-body experience that affects everyone uniquely, depending on their personal history, living environment, genetic makeup, and a host of other factors. Keeping this in mind may help our neighbors here in Milwaukee not lose heart when their grief shows up differently than they expected.

Here are some unexpected side effects of grief you may notice in yourself or your loved ones after a death occurs.

Forgetfulness and brain fog

Multiple studies have shown that grief can negatively impact short-term memory. If you notice you’re having trouble recalling a simple fact or information that normally comes easily, it might be because of grief.  

Low physical energy and fatigue

Grief takes a toll on the entire physical body. You might notice sore muscles, new aches and pains, or an overall sense of fatigue. Daily movement may help the body feel better. If you’re lacking in physical energy, remember to take it slowly. Rather than try to walk a mile, start by walking a short distance at an even pace.

Unhealthy eating habits

Oftentimes, people experiencing grief either eat too much or too little as a way of coping with their loss. Food, especially overly sweet treats, may temporarily pacify the negative symptoms, only to make them resurface even stronger once the sugar high wears off. To curb cravings, supplement your diet with fruit and vegetables or adding spices like cinnamon to a bowl of oatmeal. If you’re lacking an appetite, try scheduling mealtimes or incorporating more of your favorite foods into your diet.

Disrupted sleep patterns

As with eating habits, grief tends to push people to extremes. You may find yourself oversleeping and still feel groggy and tired upon waking. You may also have trouble sleeping and face insomnia night after night. If this is the case, consider taking a natural sleep aid like melatonin or setting an alarm for a regular wake time each day. You might also talk to a medical professional for advice if sleep disruption continues.

There are a lot of things you can do to manage these unexpected side effects of grief. Eating a balanced diet, exercising outdoors, getting quality sleep, and spending quality time with friends and family are just a few.

If you’re struggling with grief and require extra help, our compassionate team can connect you with grief counselors and therapists to better manage the unexpected side effects of grief. Contact us today for assistance and referrals. We are here for you 24/7.