4 Self-Care Tips to Help Manage Grief

Posted on Jun 15, 2019 in Depression, Natural Health, Nutrition

4 Self-Care Tips to Help Manage Grief

Grief is a very natural part of experiencing a loss, but that awareness doesn’t make the process any less painful. There are moments when you will feel angry, then slide into guilt (probably for feeling angry) and fall into sadness — and there are a dozen or so other emotions somewhere in between. Managing these layered emotions can frequently feel very isolating and very overwhelming. Making time to care for yourself is a healthy way to process grief. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few ideas on managing grief from people who have lived through some of the darkest nights and into the brightest dawns.

Allow Yourself to Feel

What you are going through is hard, but it will pass. Allow yourself to feel the sadness and sorrow — try not to bottle or suppress your hotter, more turbulent emotions. If you let them out in productive ways, you can often work through them more quickly, leaving the unhealthy ones behind. Consider starting a journal where you unload your feelings — all of them in the cold, harsh truth. Once you feel unburdened, go back through your stream of consciousness and look for lessons and insights to help you move forward.

Stay Social No Matter What

It’s going to be tempting to isolate yourself inside your home. People are always asking questions, making well-intended but insensitive remarks or acting awkward in your presence. It might seem easier to just stay in bed or in front of the TV, but staying social is a lifeline for someone grieving a lost loved one. If you don’t have a physical support system — or even if you do but need more — consider an online bereavement program. You can get additional tools, resources, and comfort to help you manage this stressful situation.

Accept Help

When someone offers to try to make your life a little easier, let them do it. We often turn people down when they offer to help — maybe we don’t think they mean it or we don’t want to be burdensome. Either way, you could use the extra help for healing. Let people help you with meals, organizing the home, and wrapping up end-of-life arrangements. Delegate to those who want to support you. Not only will that help you feel less overwhelmed, but they will also be able to face their grief and move through it feeling like they did something that mattered.

Find Your Own Source of Happiness

Chances are, you have been putting your own needs aside before, during and after losing a loved one. Whether you cared for them while they are sick or are managing the estate now that they have passed on, you have been sacrificing for someone else. Try to take a little time to find your own source of peace and serenity while you deal with grief. Take a class to learn a new skill, or sign up for a membership at a local gym. Adopt a dog that you can care for, take on walks and teach new tricks. Volunteer with people who could use support from someone like you, whether it’s serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House or cleaning up hiking trails.

No matter how long you’ve had to prepare for the death of a loved one — from months to days to moments — grief can hit hard. And not just  once — but over and over again. Grief is an unpredictable process that doesn’t follow a straight line. The best way to stay focused is to take one day at a time, listen to your heart and your mind, and try to do at least one thing a day for yourself. Grief isn’t easy, but it can be manageable.

Contributing Author: Brad Krause


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