Posts Tagged ‘Circulation (journal)’

English: Love Heart symbol interlaced

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According to Advancements in Bereavement, “Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, reports that research has found your risk of a heart attack is 21 times greater than normal in the day following the death of a loved one and decreases steadily during the first month.”

Some say we die of a broken heart.  I don’t know if that’s true or not. . . it’s certainly a romantic idea and I know of at least one couple that would love to believe that at a certain age, they will crawl into bed (similar to that in the Notebook) and hold hands and never wake up.

I think there are many possible reasons for the increased incidents of heart attacks during that first month.  There are several links below to other articles that discuss this phenomenon.

First, have you been caregiving and not taking care of yourself?  Have you taken the time to be mindful of your own health (and if you are like most of us caregivers in most caregiving situations, you have not.  there’s no shame in it, that’s what happens when we are caregiving).

As I have said in an earlier post, going to see a health care professional is not a bad idea if you are newly bereaved, but especially after caregiving.  You don’t need to go and get on meds.  That’s not what I am suggesting but you can have blood work checked, get your blood glucose measured, find out what your blood pressure is, etc.  It’s good for no other reason than to have a baseline.

Secondly, if it was a parent, sibling, or grandparent that you lost, maybe you have a predisposition toward the same life-limiting disease?  That is not to say that you are doomed to experience the same disease, it is to say that you have a tendency toward it and you may want to make sure you are taking care of yourself to keep the disease/illness away.

Lastly, I am sure that there are many more, but I’m trying to work on keep posts short, just think about the terrible jolt that loss is to your whole being.  Think about what happens when you step on the brake pedal to avoid a car accident.  Now think of that happening several times as you ride the rollercoaster of caregiving during someone’s illness or the ups and downs of mourning your life and trying to recreate a new narrative.

What we think, how we feel, and what we ingest and surround ourselves with have major impacts on our minds and bodies.  Perhaps the stress it too great.  Perhaps we are dealing with the whole flight, fright, fight, or freakout mechanism that we go through instinctively.

Given that this is a time of particular importance for our own well-being, as we pick up pieces of life and experience the tumultuous waves of mourning, picking up some important self-care tips could be the very simple things to save our lives (and sanity).

Simple things such as trying to eat healthy food, getting sleep when we are tired, drinking plenty of water, and getting out in fresh air for walks are all small steps.  Continue to check back for other small steps we can take to keep our hearts (physical and metaphorical) healthy as we face life, moment by moment.


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