Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things to go through in life. In some situations, you may have to watch the painful, slow decline of someone close to you. In other cases, you may have experienced the traumatic, sudden, and unexpected loss of a beloved individual in a wrongful death. Neither makes the grieving process any easier.
The emotions you experience can become overwhelming and crippling. Sadness, confusion, loneliness, fear, anger, and guilt are all common. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness may become pervasive, negatively impact our wellbeing. That’s is why it’s so important to take care of yourself. Here are 5 self-care tips to help you through the grieving process.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
During the grieving process, it can be a challenge to take care of your physical needs. The last thing on your mind may be to care for yourself, but it’s one of the most important things you can do at this time. Making sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and taking time to get a little exercise as well as intentional relaxation can make a world of difference in how you feel.
Get Enough Rest
Quality sleep may seem impossible while you’re grieving. You may be finding it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, due to emotional stress and feelings of guilt. However, small changes such as staying hydrated throughout the day, cutting down on caffeine, and creating a peaceful sleep environment will help you get better sleep and provide a slight boost to your emotions in the long run.
Take Time to Grieve
Learn to accept that everyone deals with grief in their own personal way. Allow yourself the same patience, consideration, and understanding that you would extend to others in your same situation. Don’t overburden yourself with obligations, and don’t give in to feelings of guilt if you’re taking longer to grieve than you expected you would.
Express What You’re Feeling
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or artist, a positive way to express your feelings of grief is through self-expression. Putting your feelings into words or pictures in a daily journal, making a scrapbook, or something as simple as a coloring book can help you make sense of what you’re going through. Small acts of art can also help relax your mind during this difficult time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
Mourning is an extremely difficult process that can leave you completely overwhelmed and exhausted. During these times, it’s natural to want to go through it on your own. However, in addition to friends and family, there are bereavement groups, local hospice groups, and grief counselors that are there to talk with you and offer support.
One last tip is to remember to breathe. You might not realize it, but when you’re going through a stressful and traumatic time you may forget to relax. Simply sit down, take a few deep breaths, and tell yourself that you can get through this at least once a day.