When we suffer a loss, all of a sudden a million things demand our attention: making arrangements, handling business, making sure the children are ok and dealing with our own feelings of grief and loss. It’s easy during these stressful times to forget to take care of ourselves. We may think we’re doing fine because we are still getting through the day.
Suffering a loss is one of the most emotionally intense experiences we will ever face. Grief affects us emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and socially. Your strength will be called upon and challenged in the coming days and weeks. You will need to maintain your physical and emotional strength for the challenges that lie ahead.
Taking Care of You
- Listen To Your Body – Your body gives you signals as to what it is needing. Are you tired? Hungry? Needing comfort? Needing to talk it out? Take the time to give yourself what you need.
- Be Kind to Yourself – You are processing a significant life event. Your day-to-day ways of handling things may be different. You may not be on top of your game. It’s OK. Do what you can with what you have.
- Rest and Nourish Your Body – Stress can disrupt sleep and appetite. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and that you are eating well. Try to choose healthy foods that will nourish you. If sleep is elusive, try relaxation or meditation before bed.
- Strike A Balance – Grieving does not have to be a 24-hour endeavor. Grieving in a healthy way is about finding balance between feeling our loss and staying connected to our lives. Look for things that nurture and enrich your life. Get a massage. Get your hair and nails done. Take a long walk with your dog. Go to dinner or a movie with friends. It’s OK to take a break from the pain and reconnect with your life through the things that bring you happiness and peace.
- Reach Out – Your friends and loved ones want to help but may not know how. Ask for what you need. Connecting to those who support us is healing and can ease the pain of grieving.
- Find a Support Group – Support groups can offer a chance to interact with people like you who have suffered a loss. Sharing our loss with others who have had similar experiences can be comforting, informative and strengthen the belief that life can go on after the loss of a loved one.
- Keep A Journal – The act of writing down our thoughts and feelings is soothing and healing. You will experience intense and sometimes confusing feelings. A journal is a great place to record and process your most personal and private thoughts. Looking back on it later can give you perspective you could not have at the time.
When to Seek Help
Sometimes the struggle with grief becomes overwhelming and we just need additional support. The counselors at Change, Inc. are trained to help you find healthy ways to cope with your loss and set you on the path to healing.
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This blog post is written by the mental health editorial team at Thriveworks associates. Now celebrating new partnerships with counselors in Raleigh, NC