Steps for Dealing with a Personal Loss

Grieving woman in black

A personal loss can be so hard to deal with and can hit some much more severely than it does others. For those of you who are trying to come to terms with your grief, here are a few steps that you can take.

Understand the Grieving Process
While the grieving process is hugely individual, there are five general stages that people tend to experience. These are denial, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. However, not everybody goes through all of these five stages, and the grieving process can take different amounts of time for different people, sometimes just weeks but sometimes years.

Establish a Support Network
Although you may not particularly feel like speaking to anyone, it is so important that you reach out to others and establish a support network for yourself. Withdrawing from the world is all-too-common, but this is only going to be extremely detrimental in the long run, so try to speak to others who have been through similar experiences, as they will be able to share a valuable perspective with you.

Woman hugging her crying friend

Professional Help
If your grief or anger really starts to overtake you and feels like it is all getting too much to bear, then this is a sign that you may need to turn to a professional for help. An experienced therapist will be able to help you to work through any intense emotions that you may be feeling, which will enable you to overcome any obstacles or blocks that are holding you back.

Express Your Feelings
Whether it may be a piece of art or writing in a journal, expressing yourself in a creative way will always be helpful when dealing with a personal loss. This is especially useful when your emotions are really threatening to bubble over, as you will have an outlet into which you can channel this energy, turning it into something productive.

Exercise
Exercising when you are feeling so down may be the last thing that you want to do, but exercise focuses your mind on the task at hand, while also releasing serotonin and other beneficial hormones into your brain. Whether you go to the gym, take the dog for a walk, or sign up for some lessons to learn a new sport, this will also be a great time for you to do some self-reflection, which can really help you to move past any painful memories.

Woman tired from exercising

Don’t Try to Numb the Pain
It can be tempting to turn to mind-altering substances when you are dealing with a personal loss, as these can often numb the pain that you are feeling. However, not only will this make it much harder for you to deal with the loss in the long run, but it can also lead to an addiction, as you will end up turning to this substance whenever you begin to feel down.

A personal loss, as well as the grieving process that accompanies it, can be caused by a wide range of things. Whether it be the death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, or a divorce or breakup, make sure that you take the necessary steps to help you to deal with your loss, as this is what will help you to really move on.

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Add a Digital Detox to Your Summer Getaway

Woman poolside

The average person checks their phone about 200 times a day, making that once every six and a half minutes. While a digital detox is a great way to overcome becoming a slave to your smartphone, the concept is frightening for many, so here are a few tips to ease you into it and set you up for success.

Set an Allowance
Many experts believe that a digital detox is something that people should ease themselves into in order to really succeed at it. For this reason, you should set yourself a daily technology allowance for all of your devices, beginning this well before your summer getaway. By restricting yourself in this way, you will be far more encouraged to spend time enjoying the real world once you have used up your allowance. However, make sure that you set an achievable allowance to begin with, for example, no devices on your lunch break, or in the bedroom at night, before building it up from here.

A Detox Buddy
Difficult tasks are always much easier when you have someone by your side, which is why a detox buddy could really come in handy this summer. Ideally, choose someone who you will be spending your summer getaway with, because this way, you will be able to support each other all the way through and keep up with each other’s progress. If you are travelling with a group of people, give phone stacking a try. This is where you all put your phones in a stack in one place and move on to do another activity. The first person who takes their phone from the pile then has to do a forfeit, whether this may be cleaning up after everyone else or buying dinner that night.

OROGOLD Add a Digital Detox to Your Summer Getaway hammock.jpg

Leave Your Gadgets at Home
While the thought of travelling without all of your gadgets may seem frightening, this is one way to ensure that you do not slip up on your digital detox. If you have planned this well in advance, with set allowances in previous months and a detox buddy to travel with, you are likely to be much more receptive to the idea when the time comes.

Digital Detox Retreats
If you feel as though you may need some extra help when it comes to your digital detox, it could be worth looking into an organized digital detox retreat. These retreats tend to be held in areas of outstanding natural beauty, as this tends to really open the eyes of participants and make them see all that they have been missing while their eyes have been glued to their phones. They will also offer a schedule of physical activities, and help with setting yourself some personal boundaries when it comes to technology for when you return home.

While a digital detox may seem like a drastic move, it actually brings with it so many different benefits. From reducing depression and anxiety to increasing work productivity, these are just a few of the reasons as to why you should give a digital detox a try this summer.

Three Aspects of Healthy Living

While there are many different aspects to consider when it comes to healthy living, there are three that are absolutely key. From physical health to mental well-being to social relationships, make sure that you place a priority on each of these parts of your life.

Woman running

Physical Health
There are a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s physical health, but two that you can have full control over are diet and exercise. In today’s world, it is all-too-easy to get the diet part wrong, especially since supermarket shelves are lined with unhealthy, processed foods. Improving on a diet can often seem daunting, so take this one step at a time, making easy and gradual changes rather than dramatic, difficult ones. For example, incorporating a new vegetable into your meals each week could be a great first step, as could making your own healthy smoothies at home. Exercise also plays a huge role in physical health, with the majority of people out there not getting enough exercise at all. Again, this is something else that can seem challenging to initially get motivated about, so begin by picking a few forms of exercise that you genuinely enjoy, such as a certain sport or a dance. Once your fitness levels begin to improve, it will be much easier to branch out and see what else is out there.

Woman meditating

Mental Health
Mental health is an extremely broad topic, but one of the key causes of poor mental health in today’s world is stress. When you experience stress, this triggers an emergency response in your body, which sends the hormone cortisol coursing through you. Chronic stress, which means consistently elevated levels of cortisol, will increase your risk for so many mental health problems, from depression to other forms of mental illness. When it comes to keeping your stress levels under control, you may need to experiment with different tactics before finding one that works for you, whether this may be doing some form of exercise, spending an hour gardening, or spending time on a new hobby.

Friends having dinner

Social Bonds
Healthy relationships are a vital part of healthy living, and there is plenty of research out there that shows that strong social bonds are linked to a longer and happier life. Not only do healthy relationships mean that you are 50% less likely to die prematurely, but they can also boost your immune system and help you to deal with stress better, which, in turn, will be a boost to your mental health. If you are looking to expand your social circle but do not know where to begin, look into local groups or clubs where you can meet people that share similar interests to you, or ask your existing friends to introduce you to some new people.

When it comes to healthy living, there are always areas in which you can improve on. Whether this may be making improvements to your diet to support your physical health, or expanding your social circle to support both your physical and mental health, be sure to pay close attention to each of these three aspects of healthy living.

How a Bad Night’s Sleep Affects Your Health

While you may think that the only consequence to a night of poor sleep is that you will be yawning much more the next day, there is actually much more to it than this. From cognitive dysfunction to high blood pressure, here are just a few of the ways in which a night of bad sleep can affect your health.

Woman who cant sleep
Cognitive Dysfunction
Sleep is absolutely vital when it comes to your cognitive ability, which, in other words, means how fast and how well you can think. A night of bad sleep can affect cognitive processes in many different ways, impairing everything from attention and alertness to concentration and problem-solving. Sleep cycles also have an impact on memory consolidation, meaning that a night of poor sleep will lead you to have memory issues the next day.

Higher Risk of Serious Health Issues
While one night of poor sleep will not immediately lead to serious health issues, chronic sleep loss drastically increases your risk of many medical conditions. From high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes and strokes, these are just a few of the conditions that have been linked to sleep deprivation.

Depressed woman
Depression and Anxiety
In addition to having an impact on your physical health, a lack of sleep will also affect your mental health. While one or two nights of poor sleep is not going to immediately cause depression, this is a condition that can soon occur after chronic sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that insomnia is often one of the first signs of depression, making good sleep absolutely necessary for a positive and healthy outlook on life.

Weakened Immune System
Your immune system works hard while you are asleep, producing infection-fighting cells and antibodies that battle bacteria and viruses, keeping your body healthy. If you experience a lack of sleep one night, this means that your immune system will not have had the opportunity to properly defend your body, meaning that not only are you more susceptible to foreign invaders, but it will also take you far longer to recover from any illness that takes you down. Even when it comes to the common cold, those that average less than seven hours of sleep at night will find themselves three times more likely to develop cold symptoms, and will also have a much harder time fighting these off.

Digestive System and Obesity
Studies carried out by the Harvard Medical School have shown connections between a lack of sleep and weight gain, making sleep deprivation one of the primary causes of obesity. A night of poor sleep will raise the levels of ghrelin in your body, which is a biochemical that stimulates the appetite. Sleep deprivation also triggers the body to release higher levels of insulin after eating, which not only promotes fat storage within the body, but can also quickly lead to diabetes.

Quality sleep is absolutely essential when it comes to a healthy mind and body, and a night of poor sleep can really have some adverse reactions. From a weakened immune system to rapid weight gain, make sure that these issues do not affect you by ensuring that you are receiving enough sleep each and every night.