One of the hardest things to do when you grieve is to think about yourself. So many feelings and thoughts wash over you, fear, sadness, anger, regret. Grief takes over so many of your senses and your own needs may fall to the wayside. It is so important to take time for self care while you grieve.
Grief can manifest itself physically, mentally and emotionally. If you are not careful it can throw off your life balance and really have an effect on future health. I’m going to share a few tips for self care while you grieve.
Self Care Tips for Grief
Take the time to breathe. Literally step back and take deep breaths in and out and feel the oxygen fill your body. During times of stress and anxiety the pace of our breathing often becomes short and quick. Long term this can cause headaches and tension in your body among other health issues. So….just breathe.
Let yourself Cry
There can be a lot of tears with grief but there is also a lot of trying not to cry. Whether you are at work or trying to take care of children you may feel as though tears are not appropriate. You may feel like you have to be the one to hold it all together. So you blink and fan those tears away. Suck it up and swallow the feelings and the tears. You don’t have to be strong, you already are! Let the tears out. Cry if you need to. If you need to take a moment to yourself you should feel no shame. Let the tears flow, tears can be so healing.
Whether we like it or not there can be an underlying pressure to grieve in a certain way. Don’t cry too much but make sure you cry some. Don’t be upset, but it’s ok to be upset. As you can see it can be so contradicting and confusing to try to grieve by others standards. This tip for self-care while you grieve is to feel what you feel, even angry. If you are angry, own it. Scream into a pillow or out loud. Sign up for a boxing class, lace up those gloves and beat the crap out of your grief. There is nothing wrong with being angry about the loss you have experienced. Let it out.
Self-care while grieving may sound like letting it all out, getting a massage or giving yourself permission to have feelings and it is. It is also important to start to recognize what triggers your grief. It may feel as if it pops up out of nowhere. Take the time to dig deeper and recognize similarities in what sets those feelings off. Once you know your triggers you can manage your grief in a healthier way.
Look for the happy moments
Even when the world as you know it feels as though it is crumbling down there can be little glimpses of hope. Hope is the thing that keeps us going. Grief and loss can feel hopeless at times. Even when things are bad there are happy moments to give that glimpse of hope for the future. Look for those happy moments, maybe it is in the eyes of a young child or an old comedy that makes you laugh. No matter how bad it is, love and hope can be found in those happy moments.
I truly hope that these tips for self care while grieving is helpful to you as your grief story is written. Always remember to create a strong support system including grief support and counseling no matter what chapter you are in.