When somebody who is important or close to you dies suddenly, everything can dramatically change. In the beginning, you might find it helpful to divert yourself by keeping busy and taking care of important considerations like funeral arrangements, etc. The truth of the loss can eventually sink in, leaving you to worry about how you’re going to cope, perhaps after the funeral, for example, when your life seems to return to what we call “normal.”
Taking care of yourself is important while you are grieving. Take as much time as you require, and when you require it, ask for and receive support from a trustworthy friend, relative, or mental health professional and Online Counsellor.
Importance of self-care
Everyone has their own unique way of grieving and for some, the process can take a long time. Losses can be of many types like grieving for the loss of a loved one, getting divorced, going through a breakup, etc Regardless of how you ended up in the depths of loss, this feeling is difficult. For most of us, we like to continue with our lives as if the grief doesn’t happen. By suppressing substances like alcoholism, workaholism, overeating, and a variety of other techniques, we hide it and our scars. These are unhealthy, as you are already aware. Your body can sense that. And that’s why taking care of oneself is so important and essential. Self-care is more than just taking care of your bodily needs.
Some self-care tips for grief
- Staying kind to yourself
Grief has a darker side. Loving and respecting yourself as you were doing earlier. Be nice to yourself and give yourself permission to grieve when and how you need to. Encourage yourself in your efforts. Keep your mind from causing you any more harm so that you can live your life normally like you were before. Consider genuine ways to be kind to yourself.
- Spending time with others
It’s possible that those close to you don’t want to interfere with your grieving and assume you would call them if necessary. Finding the courage to make that call or text can be extremely helpful. It can be very difficult to pick up the phone or text someone to say you’d like to talk or go somewhere. Going out with friends and family is a better way as compared to being alone most of the time.
- Keeping a journal
You can process your emotions and make sense of what happened by writing down your ideas and feelings. When you write your thoughts you are able to know the process of your thinking and hence can change them. Journaling will also make you aware of your thoughts.
- Getting the right amount of sleep
Use these suggestions for healthy sleep hygiene if you are suffering from sleeplessness due to your grief. It’s very natural to sleep more than you did prior to your loss, and it can even be what you need. In addition to following excellent sleep hygiene, if too much sleep is having a negative effect on you, increase your exposure to sunlight, especially right after awakening.
- Eating healthy and drinking a lot of water
Some people stress eats when they feel sad, depressed, or anxious. Grief is like fear and it is said that fear is in love with the fuel. Instead of stress eating your comfort food try having some food that gives you a lot of nutrients. Water will benefit both your physical and mental health, so drink plenty of it. And try to stay away from alcohol, which can interfere with your sleep cycle and lower your mood.
- Mindful breathing
Two things can be achieved by inhaling deeply and consciously. It first disables the battle response to stress. Second, it keeps your attention in the here and now, which might improve your mental health. Throughout the day, take several one to five minute breaks. Close your eyes and take three long breaths—focus on making a good, extended exhale. For the next few moments, concentrate on your normal breathing.
Meditation can be used in a variety of ways to ease the grief. This includes guided visualization, walking meditation, yoga, mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, focus and breath activities, and contemplative prayer (meditation in motion). Your mental health benefits from meditation since it teaches you how to manage your thoughts and remain in the moment. Practice it frequently. The frequency of your practice sessions matters more than the length of each one. Begin with two to five minutes every day. Try to work for 10 to 20 minutes per day, if you can.
You can also go and ask for support from an online counseling session because it is easy to reach an online mental health expert or Online Counselor than ever before. You can work on your grief at your own comfort, time, and space.