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Whitehall of Deerfield - Healthcare Center

Reducing stress during times of loss

Loss is a common trigger for stress. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job or loss of independence due to illness or injury can all contribute to stress levels that can affect mental and physical health. Over time, stress can weaken the immune system and make a person more susceptible to disease. Stress increases the body’s demand for oxygen as it raises blood pressure and heart rate. If a person has heart disease, stress can even increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. Stress also affects the nervous system that controls digestion and respiration leading to further health risks. Therefore, it is helpful to take steps to manage this negative force. Here are six tips for addressing stress brought on by loss.

Acknowledge feelings
When the unexpected happens, give yourself permission to feel loss, sadness or anger. Emotions are normal but you also need to figure out what you need to do. It can help to write down things that need to be done and try to address them one at a time. When you have a plan, it is easier to feel in control. Own your emotions instead of taking them out on others.

Take time
When stress levels are high, it is difficult to be productive. Your ability to concentrate well enough to complete tasks may be affected. Allow extra time to do what needs to be done. Keep as much of your daily routine as possible. Get dressed in the morning, eat your meals and go to work if possible. Having a routine helps you feel in control. Let go of minor tasks for a while and take your time getting back into your full regular routine.

Find a good listener
Sharing your story of loss is important because it helps you sort out what has happened and define your feelings. Choose a friend, a family member or pastor who will simply listen. You may feel that you don’t need advice at this stage but avoiding others can bring on feelings of isolation. Having strong social support can help address issues connected to stress.

Make healthy choices
Getting regular exercise, sleeping each night and eating regular healthy meals can help reduce stress levels. Skipping meals can make you drowsy and bring on mood swings while healthy meals can help maintain energy levels. Since stress can affect your immune system, sleep becomes more important. While you sleep, the body heals and strengthens the immune system so you can fight off illness. Regular exercise can help with your appetite and falling asleep at night. The stress felt over loss can be increased if health issues arise so take steps to protect your health.

Let go
There are some things that can’t be changed, so at some point accept your loss. Decide to adapt to the new “normal” and move on with life. Holding onto anger or thinking you can change what has happened can increase stress levels while letting go can reduce stress.

Find a way to relax
Look for a way to take a break. Sit in a rocking chair and read. Listen to music while looking out the window. Take your dog for a walk in a park. Even 20 minutes of self-attention can help reduce stress. If it is hard to relax at home, try a visit to a favorite art gallery, attend a concert or go to dinner with friends. Some people find comfort in volunteering to help others. Look for the activity that works for your situation.

Accentuate the positive
Instead of dwelling on what has been lost, try to focus on positive aspects of life. Attitude plays an important role in controlling stress. Find something to look forward to like a trip or an upcoming celebration. Count your blessing and look at the bright side of life.

Dealing with stress caused by a medical event
Surgery, illness or injury can be stressful since it disrupts daily routines and affects our ability to control life. Additional stressors like pain and proper wound care can make recovery even more challenging. Although it may be tempting to sit alone in your home and dwell on your limited ability, this will only increase stress levels and lengthen recovery time. A better choice is to stay in a short-term care facility where needs are addressed by a caring community determined to help you return to the active lifestyle you desire.

Glenview Terrace, a recipient of Medicare’s highest five-star quality rating, can provide this ideal recovery environment where an experienced staff guides you along a successful path to reach your goals. Guests who choose Glenview Terrace will have access to board-certified medical directors and physicians from local hospitals to ensure a safe and effective recovery. A clinical nurse liaison can complete a personalized assessment even before you leave the hospital to make sure all is ready upon arrival at Glenview Terrace. A nurse practitioner is on-site to work directly with your physician to help quickly diagnose and manage your medical needs.

This effective period of recovery is set in elegantly appointed surroundings. Comfortable rooms with deluxe walk-in showers, satellite television and daily housekeeping services make your stay comfortable. Morning coffee and the newspaper are delivered to the rooms daily. An attentive concierge team is available to help fill special requests to make the stay as enjoyable as possible.

To manage stress levels during recovery, consider Glenview Terrace. With its outstanding clinical outcomes and acclaimed therapy, you can expect to get back to the independent lifestyle you desire. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.