"Self Care After Grief"
Five simple tips to help you deal with grief.
Three years ago I lost my dad and before even the numbness wore off, my mom was gone two years later. Grief is a word and a cursed feeling that is sometimes indescribably present to the point of denying us the ability to lead our normal lives. I would be lying if I said I don’t feel it in my core. Whether yours sprouts from the loss of a loved one or a pet, realize that just as you are feeling every bit of it, self-care is your balm and antidote for every step of it.
1. The first stage of grief is unbelief and denial for some. It is not easy accepting your loss, it feels surreal. However you must acknowledge your loss and your feelings. You’re allowed to miss them, cry, wail because they meant so much to you. My mom and I were inseparable and her passing completely gutted me. There is not a day that passes that I don’t miss her, the connection will never be replaced. There is no formula to this; everyone is different, let your emotions flow as they please.
2. Spirituality is crucial while grieving. If there is a way to seek solace with this magnitude of emotional pain is definitely through reaching further into your soul. The word of God provided me with rest and assurance that calmed my heart in a way that no meditation or carefully crafted affirmations would. It was the antidote I didn’t know I needed and I grew spiritually during those trying times. We are spiritual beings and no physical, psychological or mental methods of inducing calmness can be compared to the kind of healing we get spiritually.
3. Stay connected. So find yourself a bereavement group or seek professional help from a grief counselor or a therapist. They will help you understand your emotions and how to cope with them. Despite your situation, be open to a support system to help you move through this.
4. Engaging in activities that you love such as listening to music can help you relieve your stress and also help you be in touch with the world around you. It helps get your focus back to being in the moment and enjoying yourself. This sparks the healing process as you try to express love to yourself.
5. Breathe. Yes, take deep diaphragmatic breaths and don't stay depressed and overwhelmed by the emotions. Take walks in nature, green spaces have been found to reduce stress levels and therefore a walk in the woods could help you release feelings of anxiety and depression.
We are all on a path to healing and therefore adjusting to a new normal can be difficult though not impossible. Be patient with yourself. Self care is important during this time. Practice these tips and use the ones that work for you with practice. Peace and love in your heart.