The following few blog posts come from guest contributor Kelly K., who has been a long time supporter of PeaceMeals. As she journeys with grief, she helped to pilot a PeaceMeals’ “Grief Reset,” in order to get a physical, mental, and emotional refresh.
The PeaceMeals Grief Reset includes a 21 day meal plan for a gentle elimination diet that is meant to reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar (for a clearer mind, increased energy, and more even-keel mood). But more than just an elimination diet, the Reset includes daily practices for self-care, stress management, and self-reflection. It is a gentle, wholistic plan to support body, mind, and soul. Here are Kelly’s impressions and reactions….
Right so. Kelly here. I’m a 28 year old ex-vegetarian Californian currently living the expat life in Cork, Ireland. Here is my PeaceMeals story:
My dad died four months ago. I haven’t been feeling great (to say the least). Grief is an odd and powerful little gremlin. It does all kinds of things to your mind and your body that you have no control over. When my mom died 5 years ago, the grief hit something wicked. So am trying to prepare myself this time for the grief gremlin antics: Your short term memory is gone for at least 9 months – you have to factor in an extra 15-20 minutes each morning to wander the house looking for where you set down your coffee cup or keys. You made lots of big important decisions and can’t remember any of the details a week later. A weird fog of sadness and fatigue sets in, punctured by bright points of laser focused efficiency to complete the immediate task at hand (motivated primarily by a fear that you will forget the thought 10 seconds later). The written to-do and to-done list isn’t just a friend, it’s a lifeline to sanity.
A few months ago I woke up to realize that my red wine consumption was getting a little out of hand, and that I was single handedly keeping Cadbury in business with my dairy milk chocolate intake. I was having a hard time finding a therapist to talk to about my sadness, couldn’t motivate myself to journal or write.
I decided it was time for a bit of a reset. I enlisted my good friend Cath to help me out, asking her for a “grief detox” of sorts to get my head (and body) back in the game. We hopped on skype a week later and talked about what I was looking to get out of the three-week “Peacemeals Grief Reset”. Here are my top five intentions for the experiment:
Take care of myself: Take it easy. Do things that make you happy. Be kind to yourself. Easy to say, but when I am wandering in the sadness fog, it’s tough to know where to start. On friends’ advice, I booked a full-day facial and massage at a local spa a few weeks ago. I snuck out an hour early just wanting some chicken soup and my slippers: a lesson to start small and take it easy on my own terms. With my grief reset I am making a commitment to taking care of my body from the inside out.
Structure: When I was a caregiver for my mom, I took up training for a marathon. Crazy, right? Actually, makes perfect sense. For me, the structure of a training routine gave me something to work towards, something where I could see progress. If I followed a plan and followed through on a commitment, I would see a change in myself. It was a validation that if you put in hard work, you can make a change. The grief reset is a chance to build that kind of positive structure around my day-to-day habits.
Focus: With so many balls in the air after you lose someone (the mountains of paperwork), it’s hard to focus and prioritize. Anyone who has gone through the grieving process will tell you that a hallmark characteristic is the inability to distinguish the small from the big. A small bump in the road that wouldn’t phase you normally seems a monumental undertaking. I hope the reset will keep me a bit more centered, focused on the main tenants of the plan, rather than the minutia of correct seasoning ratios in a given recipe. A little microcosm of perspective.
Some learning: The whole gut-brain-body connection is something that Cath and other friends and family have talked about for awhile now, and I have never had the excuse to really get “stuck in” as they say here in Ireland. So for the next three weeks, I am throwing myself into blogs, podcasts, and articles from PeaceMeals and other nutritionists. Time to “bone up” on my “bone broth” basics. Ha.
Reflection: Simply, I have done very little of it recently. I need to do more.
So begins my three week “Peacemeals Grief Reset”. Here goes.