How to spot the physical effects of grieving

Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one is never easy. After the initial shock and sadness can follow a whole wave of different emotions, such as anger, frustration, fear and even relief, if the person who passed away was suffering.

It can be a stressful situation, organising a funeral and dealing with the person’s estate, but luckily there are services out there like Beyond that can take some of that pressure away from you, allowing you the time that you need to grieve.

Grief can affect everyone differently, so whether it’s you or someone close to you, here are some of the signs you can look out for to spot the physical effects of grieving.


  • Being quieter than normal
  • Lack of concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Anxiousness
  • Stressed
  • Depressed
  • Looking run down
  • Exhaustion
  • Breathlessness
  • Sickness
  • Aches and pains
  • Oversensitivity, both physically and emotionally
  • Skin problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Over-eating
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Stomach upsets
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks

Some of these symptoms may be a sign of illness and so you should consult your GP if they worsen.


Advice for someone suffering from grief

If you believe that you, or someone close to you, may be struggling with the symptoms of grief, there are a number of things you can do to try and cope with it a little better.


Look after yourself – As simple or as hard as this might sound, when grieving your body is vulnerable and your immune system is low, so you need to be taking good care of it. Eat healthy foods at proper meal times and don’t try and drown your sorrows with alcohol or anything else that might make you feel better in the short term; you’ll only make yourself feel worse.


Get enough sleep – It can be hard to sleep when you’re overcome with emotion. You might not be able to stop yourself from waking up in the middle of the night, but you can try and do yourself a favour by getting to bed as early as possible and allowing your mind and body to rest as best you can. Try drinking some camomile tea before bed or switching off by reading a few pages of a book. You can even look into taking some herbal sleeping tablets or speaking to your GP if you’re really struggling.


Do something you love – Whether you spend time with friends, have an existing hobby or find a new one, it’s important that you allow yourself time to do something you enjoy. Don’t feel guilty about having fun or feeling happy. It will help you to get through the worst stages of the grieving process. And, of course, your loved one would want you to be happy too.


Talk to someone – It doesn’t matter whether it’s a close friend, a family member or even a colleague, one of the best things you can do when trying to deal with grief and everything it throws your ways is, simply, to talk to someone. It can be a huge relief to get everything off your chest and share how you’re feeling. They might have been in a similar situation themselves or they might just be able to lend an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. And, don’t forget, there’s plenty of professional help you can receive too, either from your doctor or a local bereavement support service.

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