These self care tips for coping with grief can be done whenever you feel up to them. Grief can come in a lot of different ways and there is no one right way to deal with it. Losing a loved one is something that is set to have a significant impact on anyone’s mental health and does not depend on whether you have a mental illness or not.
As I write this, a friend just lost her Grandmother this morning. Learning how to cope with grief and loss is something we humans ALL have to deal with throughout our lives. Death is something that we struggle to cope with and manage our feelings about, so it’s completely normal to struggle with the mental health impact of such a huge loss.
Experts used to believe that grief was a large scribble-like circle that overtook your mind for a while, and then over time the amount of grief felt faded, allowing you to get back to normal life. However, what experts now believe is that the amount of grief we feel stays the same, but our lives and minds grow around that grief, developing and changing over time, making it more manageable.
There are different stages of grief but you don’t have to experience or live these stages in any specific way, they will effect everyone differently. Using self care tips for coping with grief will help you each day to cope.
This is an extremely interesting concept as it means that how grief can be managed is different now to what it was when the initial concept surrounding grief was thought to be correct. Managing grief is never something that is straightforward or easy, particularly as everyone handles grief in their own unique ways.
However, there are certain steps that you can take to make the process of managing, a little easier. Below are some tips and pieces of advice for making it slightly easier to manage and cope with your grief.
Take each day as it comes
One of the hardest parts about coping with grief is struggling to think about the future and how you will manage without your loved one being there for you. The key to coping with this aspect of loss is to take each day as it comes – don’t try to force yourself to think about anything but the day ahead of you, and just slowly work through each day at a time.
Some days will be harder than others, such as the day you choose a memorial stone from Kerbed Memorials for your lost loved one, or days that are anniversaries or birthdays. However, what it’s important to bear in mind is that by taking each day at a time, you will give yourself time to heal.
Ride the waves
Grief comes in waves. One moment you will be perfectly fine, the next you will feel as if a wave of grief is overtaking your entire being. It’s hard to cope with these often unexpected waves – they’re painful and upsetting and can sometimes drown you in emotion. The key to coping with them is simply to ride them out, dealing with each wave as it comes.
When it comes to coping, we all have different coping mechanisms. While some people find taking some time out for themselves can help, others find that talking to other people can help. Every handles grief in their own way – there’s no right or wrong way to cope, it’s just a case of knowing how to manage your feelings in a way that helps you to heal.
Grief isn’t something that simply goes away, it has a long-lasting impact of every aspect of your life, including your wellness and mental health. The healing process is a long one, but one that it’s worth taking the time to navigate down because once you begin to heal, you will find that every day gets that little bit easier.
Reach out For Support
You don’t need to bottle things up or try to be stronger than you really feel, allow yourself to feel however you are truly feeling inside. It is so important to your mental health when dealing with grief that you reach out to someone for support. Its important that you feel that you are not alone. Your support system can be a friend, family members, a helpline or a professional. Anyone you feel comfortable talking to can be of help at this time of need.
10 Self Care Tips for How to Cope with Grief and Loss
Here are 10 simple, self care actions you can do each day to help yourself move toward a place of healing and coping with grief and loss.
- Rest. Take breaks from work or daily tasks to nap or just relax. Make yourself a cup of calming tea or take a relaxed walk.
- Make lists. It’s easy to forget things when your circuits are on overload. Make lists but only include short tasks that don’t require long periods of concentration. If you keep forgetting appointments, ask someone to remind you. This, too, will pass. It just takes time for all the parts of your system to reset, so be patient with yourself. It will get better.
- Cry when you want. Do this as often as you need to. Tears provide a healthy emotional release and help clear out the cobwebs.
- Journal. Consider writing in a journal where you can reflect on what happened, and how it has changed your life. A journal will help you release pent-up feelings to begin the healing process. Just a few minutes a day gives you a framework from which you can view the changes you’re going through.
- Exercise. Make sure some form of exercise is part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. Stretching or a few easy exercises can help release tension and get your blood flowing. Even something as simple as a 20-minute walk may help lift your spirits. Choose something you enjoy, such a forest therapy so it is not a chore.
- Get Help if you need it.You can reach out for help with more intricate tasks, such as grocery shopping, that you are just not feeling up to or just help for simple things to ease your days.
- Don’t forget to eat. Eating small meals 4 to 5 times a day can help curb emotional swings by keeping your blood sugar in check, keep your strong and healthy.
- Drink water. Every cell is dependent on water; a dehydrated body will only contribute to your emotional drain. Don’t wait until you are thirsty but have hydrating water, such as lemon water on the go.
- Pray or meditate. These practices bring you back to your calm center and help restore a sense of stability in your life, reduce your anxiety and help you cope with the grief.
- Find joy where you can. Even though this may be the last thing you feel like doing, do it anyway. Give yourself permission to laugh at something … anything. Laughter helps to break up the clouds and bring you in a better place. The more joy you seek, the more joy will you.
Most important, I just want to say that if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, please be very kind to yourself. It’s such a hard thing to go through and you are doing amazing. Remember that you are strong and you are wonderful.