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Self-care Tips for Those Who Are Grieving

Losing someone or something very important is one of the most difficult challenges in life. Usually, the pain is overpowering. You may deal with all kinds of complex and unanticipated emotions, from shock to anger to deep, lingering sadness. The experience can also damage your physical health, making it a struggle to think straight or to even eat or sleep.

Of course, these are all normal reactions. But though there are no right or wrong ways to grieve, there is an approach that helps make everything easier.

Self-care

Grieving gives you all the more reason to take care of yourself. This can of experience can easily deplete your physical and emotional energy stores. That’s why you need to look after your physical and emotional needs as you go through this difficult time.

Acceptance

You can try to hold back your grief, but you do that forever. Acknowledging your pain is important to healing. If you shun feelings of loss and sadness, you only make yourself grieve longer. Unresolved grief can also cause complications like depression, substance abuse, and health issues.

Tangible or Creative Expression

Expressing your grief in some tangible or creative way helps in processing your grief. For instance, write about it in your journal. If you just lost a loved one, write a letter with everything you wanted to say but never had a chance to; make a scrapbook or photo album in celebration of the person’s life; or join an organization or advocacy that was important to him.

Physical Health

Always remember that the mind and body are connected. When you are physically healthy, you will be able to process your emotions better. You can fight stress and fatigue by sleeping, eating and exercising right. Alcohol or drugs can only numb your pain temporarily and set the stage for long-term ruin.

Hobbies and Interests

There’s comfort going back to the things you used to do, especially those that you always enjoyed. Connecting with other people always works to lessen the pain. However, don’t let anyone, including yourself, force you into feeling this or that. Your grief is an independent process, and no one can dictate when the right time is for moving on or letting go. Don’t be scared of being embarrassed or judged by own feelings. It’s okay to cry, not to cry, be angry or even to laugh and find little moments of joy.

Preparation

As you try to resolve your grief and pain, prepare for “triggers,” like anniversaries, holidays and other events that can cause memories and feelings to come flooding back. Most importantly, keep in mind that this is totally normal. Again, accept the pain and deal with it, but not without expressing it.
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