Self-care during grief can help you recover mentally, physically and emotionally. Just doing one of these things can make a large impact, so don't feel like you need to work through the list and get them all done. The list below is in no particular order, so read through and see what feels right.
1. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself some grace.
When someone we love is taken from us, we are immediately flooded with emotion. What we must first learn is that we should allow ourselves some grace. Acknowledge your feelings and sense that what feelings you are having are valid. There are no right and wrong feelings with grief and mourning. Some days all we can do is breathe and know that just breathing is enough.
Self-compassion is great for healing. Give yourself the space to feel the pain of grief, and give yourself permission to take a break when needed.
Allow grace for other people too. Most times they do not know how to react or what to say. Consider that they are trying to do the best they can and remember that when dealing with others.
- The above is an excerpt from "3 Life Lessons From Death" from the Zenful Goddess.
Self-care tip - Place one hand on your heart. Say to yourself "I care about you. You are enough Whatever you are feeling is ok."
2. get a check-up.
When you are grieving, your chances for illness increase due to stress. While grief is a natural process and not an illness, it is a good time to check in with a healthcare professional to address any health issues that may come up due to stress.
If you are sleeping more than you did before your loss, know that this may just be what your body needs. But if excessive amounts of sleep is affecting you negatively, then take the take to get in more sunlight and address any irregularities in your sleep patterns.
Make sure you are not only getting enough sleep but proper restful sleep.
Self-care tip - Try meditating before going to bed. This will contribute to a more restful nights sleep.
4. Eat healthy and drink lots of water.
It is very important to eat healthy when under the stress of grief. The more you take care of your physical body the more likely you are to be able to cope with the stress. Drink lots of water, it will help energize your physical and mental state.
Avoid alcohol, as it will negatively impact your sleep and mood.
5. Breathe mindfully.
Breathing mindfully can help in two ways. First, it can help with stress. Second, it helps you stay in the moment and contributes to your mental well-being.
Self-care tip - Take several breaks throughout the day to breathe mindfully. Close your eyes. Take 3 deep breaths - focusing on the inhale and exhale. Finish it off by focusing on your natural breath.
6. move your body.
Any kind of physical activity will help relieve the tension of stress from grief. Exercise will contribute to better sleep, mental stability and an overall sense of well-being.
Self-care tip - Practice Yoga with meditation before going to sleep.
7. connect with others.
One of the most important things you can do is to surround yourself with people who care about you. If you do not want to feel like a burden to those around you, find a support group or mentor to talk to. These people are there to listen and talk specifically about your grief.
8. Express and create.
If you are already a crafty person, get back into a medium that you love. If you are not, find something that you can immerse yourself into. Creating can help you focus and help promote a mental state of well-being.
Self-care tip - Find or create a grief journal.