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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Our immune systems and grief

Everyone in my family has been very sick lately. While I haven't experienced the level of illness most of them have gone through, I feel as though I have been fighting various things off ever since my mother died. I never feel fully well, and I have an almost continuous migraine.

When we are in deep grief, our immune system is very compromised by the stress we are carrying. Not only does grief leave us feeling chronically exhausted, it raises our levels of stress hormone which knocks our immune systems for a loop. We need to make sure that we get as much sleep as possible, wash our hands constantly, drink lots of water and keep moving. Common sense, but hard to remember when you feel listless and detached. Going back to work has helped, but by the weekend I find myself beyond tired. That's when I have to be especially careful not to let the germs get the upper hand. Take care of yourself in whatever ways you need. That is not selfishness. It's protecting yourself so that there will be more of yourself to work, play, love with in the days ahead.

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