Helping Yourself

 

 

Grief is so powerful that people sometimes look for ways to go around it rather than journey through it. You can heal more effectively if you allow yourself all of your emotions and feelings, and take care of yourself on each step of your journey.

 

Basic Health Concerns

Grief is exhausting. When we’re exhausted, we don’t function well, and things become even more overwhelming. It may sound trivial, but it is important to continue your daily health routines.

 

  • Try to eat regular, nourishing meals. Your appetite may change, and that’s okay. Have nourishing food available, rather than chips and candy. Avoid misusing or abusing medications and alcohol.

 

  • Rest. Try to develop regular bedtime routines. If you are having a hard time getting to sleep, check out some music playlists or relaxation podcasts.

 

Podcasts can touch on pain and totally blindside you. Check in with your mental health clinician or trusted friend about recommended podcasts.

 

 

  • Continue your exercise program and develop a manageable routine.

 

  • Meditation, perhaps in the form of prayer or yoga, can help you get the rest you need.

 

  • At your next appointment, let your family doctor know what has happened so he or she can help monitor your health.

 

Outside Support

  • We don’t have to isolate ourselves during our grief.

 

  • Think about continuing to participate in faith-based services and stay in contact with people who have been a source of support to you.

 

  • Let your friends and family help you. Reflect back on how good you feel when you help others.

 

Feelings

  • Read books or articles on the process of grief so you can identify what you are feeling and have some ideas on how to help yourself.

 

  • Allow your feelings to be expressed appropriately.

 

  • Crying is good. You feel lighter after you have had a good cry. Consider sharing your tears with other loved ones. We laugh together, why not cry together as well?

 

  • Keeping a journal is a good way to identify feelings and also to see progress.

 

  • Grief Groups and Hospice can help you prepare ahead for holidays, anniversaries, and other events.

 

Be Kind to Yourself

 

  • Wait a while (up to a year) before making major life changes.

 

  • If you need some alone time, take it, as often as you need to…

 

  • Pamper yourself in small ways; find a hobby that brings you peace in solitude (music, stained glass work, painting,).

 

  • Take a short trip for a change in perspective.

 

  • Allow yourself happy moments. Eventually moments will turn into days. Allow the happy to happen and don’t feel guilty.

 

  • Learn to have patience with yourself.

 

  • Notice what you do right. Notice when you handle something well. Notice a gift from nature (a bird playing in a puddle, a puppy playing in the park).

Next: Resources for People Experiencing Grief and Loss