When someone you love dies, it can be hard to continue your normal day to day life. However, the person that you loved would have wanted you to take care of yourself, which is why it’s important to be gentle with yourself while you grieve and practice self care. Below are a few ways that you can practice self care while you are grieving.
Get Some Rest
When you are grieving, your normal sleeping patterns are often impacted. Whether this means that you are sleeping more or less, you should prioritize figuring out your sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough, it can begin to impact other parts of your life. You can try to create a nighttime routine as a way to signal to your body that it’s time to rest. However, if the problem persists, you should talk with your doctor about your options for help sleeping.
If you find yourself sleeping much more than you usually do, you’re not alone. Many people sleep more when they are experiencing emotional distress in some way. Sleep is an important part of healing both physically and mentally, so you should allow yourself the extra sleep your body needs. However, if the amount you’re sleeping begins to impact your daily life, you should speak with your doctor.
Although it can be easy to just eat the easiest to make food or take out while you’re grieving, it’s important to prioritize eating well while you’re grieving. You don’t have to suddenly begin eating 100% healthy all the time, but making small switches, like having a side of veggies instead of fries, can help you feel better.
Our bodies work their best when they have the right fuel, so eat right can be very helpful in feeling better. Unhealthy foods can be good in moderation, but you should definitely incorporate more fresh, healthy foods in your diet.
Drinking enough water can make a huge difference in how you’re feeling. When you’re dehydrated, you can suffer from symptoms like a headache, dry skin and lips, exhaustion, and dizziness or lightheadedness. If you’re not sure if you’re drinking enough water, listen to your body.
When you feel thirsty, your body is already partially dehydrated, so try to drink enough water to avoid that burning thirst.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which boost your mood. You don’t have to suddenly become a fitness guru to start exercising. Going for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or a local park is a great way to get moving, and if you don’t want to leave your home you can put on your favorite music and dance.
There are also many free online resources with ten to 15 minute workout videos aimed towards any level of fitness. Even something as simple as doing a lap around the store before you start shopping can help you get moving more than you would have.
Find a Creative Outlet
Grief can be very hard to fully express. That’s why finding a creative outlet can be extremely helpful when it comes to expressing your feelings. Here are a few activities you can try out:
- Journalling. Journalling is a great way to get all of your thoughts out. If you’re not sure where to start, you can try out timed freewriting, a type of journalling where your only goal is to write for a set amount of time without stopping. It’s a great way to get your thoughts out, and if you practice it enough, you’ll get better at sorting through your thoughts and feelings.
- Poetry. You don’t have to be an amazing poet in order to write something that captures how you feel. Poetry is a more structured type of writing with many different forms, so you can try out as many as you want to try to express yourself. Remember that you never have to share these pieces and they can exist just for you to take the pressure off of you.
- Paint. Painting can be a very therapeutic activity. You can just paint whatever you want to or whatever comes to mind or you can follow a tutorial. Someone like Bob Ross has almost endless tutorials that are very soothing to follow.
- Sculpt. If you want to try your hand at something artistic but more solid, you can try out sculpting. There are many different materials you can choose from, from clay to concrete to plaster. If you create something out of concrete, know you’ll be building something that has the ability to last for more than 100 years. That means you could place your structure outside or in another place where something more breakable may end up damaged.
Get Out Into Nature
Connecting with nature can have an extremely calming effect on your body and your stress. Depending on where you live, there will be different opportunities to get out in nature. Look for parks, hiking trails, or any other natural areas near you.
If you feel the need to fully escape into nature, consider going camping. 50% of people will go less than 100 miles from home when they’re going camping, so there’s no need to have a long road trip to your camping destination.
You are probably not the only one who has lost your loved one that has passed away. You can speak with others who are missing your recently deceased friend or family member to speak about all of the good memories that you had from their life. Talking about the wonderful life they lived can be helpful in making their memory one that is full of love and joy and not overly clouded by grief.
Even if you’re unable to attend the funeral services for your loved one, you can still reach out to your friends and family for support. Out of every ten funeral services, nine have at least one important attendant absent, so don’t feel bad about missing the services for whatever reason you may have. Reach out to any friends and family near you for support if you’re unable to attend the memorial or funerary services.
Although your grief can feel overwhelming and lonely, it’s important to take care of yourself and reach out for support if you need it. Although taking care of yourself can seem impossible while you grieve, you can do it, and you will get through this grief.