Grieving is difficult and often times people find it hard to take care of themselves. It’s easy to just shut the world out after you experience the loss of a loved one. However, we encourage that you make self-care a priority. From spending time with friends and family to running errands, small efforts can go a long way when it comes to taking care of yourself. We also recommend working through our grief and loss group curriculum with your support group for additional encouragement throughout your grieving process.
What are some things I can do for self-care?
Spend time with friends and family. It’s easy to isolate yourself from your friends and family after the death of a loved one, especially after the first few weeks when things begin to settle down. However, it’s important to surround yourself with a community that can provide constant support. Stay connected with friends and family and make yourself available to do things you would have done before your loss. Participate in normal activities like family gatherings or nights out with friends. Instead of pushing them away, allow those who care about you to be around you to encourage you.
Try not to shut yourself out from the outside world. Often times, those who experience grief hide away in their homes. They leave their blinds drawn, their car in the garage, and don’t answer the door when people come to visit. This is a segue to depression and loneliness.
Take care of yourself by continuing to live life. Open your windows. Sit on your front porch. Run errands that you regularly completed before the loss of your loved one. It’s easier said than done, but it is one of the most effective ways to take care of yourself during grief.
Allow yourself to laugh and have fun. Sometimes, people believe that having fun soon after the loss of a loved one is inappropriate or disrespectful. We think it’s a great way to take care of yourself. Activities such as going to events and inviting people over can get your mind off of your grief and can help you relax. Grieving through the holidays can be extremely tough but allowing yourself to go to holiday parties and gatherings can make it easier. These things can make life seem a little more normal and enjoyable.
Chose to be in positive environments and surround yourself with encouraging people. Being around people who only want to talk about your loss can be harmful to your wellbeing. It’s a constant reminder of the death of your loved one. Though it is okay to talk about your grief, it is also okay to not talk about it. Find those who will lift you up through your grieving.
Challenge yourself to take steps towards doing things or go places that you have avoided since the passing of your loved one. Often times, it’s difficult to visit places or do things that remind you of your loved one. Maybe your loved one worked in the garage regularly or spent a lot of time reading on the back porch, so it hurts for you to go there. Maybe they loved to work in your garden, but now that they are gone you can’t bring yourself to take care of it.
Push yourself to start by entering the area that you have trouble spending time in. Look around for a few seconds, then leave. Your next step could be to sit down or spend a little more time in that place. Little by little, work your way up to being comfortable in that space again. Create new memories in those areas so that you can feel comfortable being there again.
Make going to a support group a priority. Though surrounding yourself with friends and family after the loss of a loved one is a great way to care for yourself, it is also important to discuss your grief with people who are going through a similar experience. Grief support groups can be an excellent outlet for your struggles that you are facing while grieving. It also gives you the opportunity to hear others share their stories. Working through a grief and loss group curriculum with your peers can provide you with additional encouragement and resources to help you navigate your grieving journey.
Although friends and family are there to care for you through your loss, it is important to take care of yourself as well. We know that it can be hard to continue to live life after the death of a loved one but know that it is possible.
Contact us, today, if you have any additional questions about self-care throughout grieving, or if you are interested in information about our group curriculum for grieving through the holidays.