Taking Care of Oneself
One of the people I counsel isn’t doing well and has lost a lot of weight as a result of his troubles. He recently lost a spouse which is one of the worst things a person can experience apart from losing a child. At first I was in a quandary how to help other than the usual remarks that begin the healing process. There are times when words alone do not suffice. I had to take some other kind of symbolic action that would draw attention to his lack of self-concern.
I searched the web and read digital scale reviews to help me find the best one for him, that he could use as a reminder to “check in” every day and start taking better care of himself. I assumed that he only had an old one in the bathroom at home. The digital model is a handy item to have around, especially with the large readout panel that comes with it. It lights up. The accuracy is also phenomenal. He just needed a helping hand at this point since my current approach was not putting any meat on his bones. He was drowning in sorrow. When people are grieving or are in mental pain, they lose sight of their basic needs such a nutrition. As the experts say it, they forget to eat. They don’t exercise or attend to personal grooming. They enter a no man’s land of escapism and they can wallow in self-pity or re-experience the initial loss over and over again that got them in such a sorry state to begin with.
I got a digital scale that syncs with his personal computer since I knew that he was the type of person who spent a lot of time in cyber space. He would appreciate being able to track his weight while on line and could compare himself to other people of his height and age. This would be a good diversion for him. I could think of nothing better, and according to his report back to me, it worked.
Taking care of oneself goes without saying, but people just don’t always believe it. If you forget to eat or have trouble sleeping, it makes matters worse and you can become truly ill. There are psychological maladies that accompany grief and loss and they can be every bit as bad as the physical ailments that plague the same group. I can’t say too much on the subject to people in need so help them through a rough patch. Sometimes it takes an object to wake the person up. It can be a book to read or it can be something as mundane as a digital scale. Weight loss can be disturbing and I worried that the scale would have the opposite effect. In his case, he just wouldn’t acknowledge it which is a prerequisite to doing something concrete to remedy it, so the scale was a wake-up call. I think I hit the nail on the head with this one. Not everyone would react in the same way. But he did have a positive, self-curing response.