19 Oct Self Care Tips and Grief Recovery
We grieve for all different types of reasons, all of which are valid. It can include divorce, moving, pet loss, death, prolonged illness, financial changes, changing relationships, death, miscarriage, trauma and more.
Self-Care Ideas For Grievers
Any way it comes, it’s hard to deal with at first and self-care can help. As anyone who has experienced grief before, we never really ‘get over it’, we just learn to live without and how to cope, bringing joy and light into our lives in other ways.
Grief is a process, which means that the emotions won’t always be as intense as they are in the initial stages. Here are some ways in which you can practice self-care for grief during the first few months or years.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and look at self-care during this time in a realistic way; this means not ticking everything off the list, instead select ideas and activities that you can actually do and not just aspire to do.
7 Tips For Self-Care When Experiencing Grief
Grief is difficult. You might experience fatigue or exhaustion. That’s ok, but just make sure you rest. Resting is especially important during times of grief.
While resting, also pay attention to your sleeping routine. If you experience insomnia or struggle to get enough sleep, there are various methods you can use to help, including sleeping with white noise, blackout blinds or curtains or trying to stick to a schedule.
Physical and mental health check
During this time, especially if you’re experiencing complicated grief, make sure to use the resources available to you to get the grief support you need.
Grief causes a great amount of stress on the body and mind, which puts the body at a higher risk of experiencing a physical illness. When navigating through grief, check in with a healthcare provider.
Self-care that’s manageable and frequent
While you’re grieving, motivation can sometimes be lacking. Pick self-care practices that are small and manageable, this will help you feel like you’re making progress, but in small chunks. It could be something as small as brushing your teeth, drinking some water, or making your bed.
It’s best to keep things easy and straightforward for yourself. By doing things little and often, you’ll find that you’re able to feel productive at a manageable pace.
Delegate asking for help
Grief is an overwhelming time, and sometimes people continually saying, ‘let me know if there’s anything I can do to help’ is too much. To take the burden off your plate a little, delegate one person to help step in and manage any requests for help on your behalf. A close friend or relative acting as a delegator takes a lot of pressure off and means that if people want to help, they can.
Accept help when it’s offered
Accept help when it’s offered to you. It can be a force of habit to change from, ‘no, it’s okay’ to a simple, ‘yes, please’. As a society, we’ve placed importance on individuality, however, accepting help is not a sign of weakness.
We’re naturally social creatures and intrinsically wired to connect, care for and support others in our community. Plus, this can also be a major cornerstone in the healing process. Don’t worry about relying on your support system, that’s what they’re there for.
Be kind to yourself and adjust your expectations
You may find yourself struggling with following old routines and obligations. Be kind to yourself and adjust the expectations you have for yourself. It’s okay to not be 100% all of the time. There may be days or weeks where you need more time to yourself, to rest, to set boundaries or you take slower to get back to people. That’s okay, take the time and be kind to yourself.
Accept the hugs
This may seem like a strange one on our list, but physical touch can be especially comforting in times of grief.
If you’re comfortable, then ask family and friends for a hug, to hold your hand or wrap an arm around your shoulders. You can also ask a loved one for a massage, all of which are ways to relax your body during times of high stress.
What self-care tips do you find useful?
This self-care list is short and sweet; there are many more ways in which you can take care of your grieving body and mind.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to practice self-care, as long as it helps you.
Contact Future-Edge Therapy
Grief recovery therapy helps you verbalise, offload and talk in a private environment without having to watch what you say or guard your emotions. It is individual to each person and generally takes between 6 – 12 months.
Why not try a session with Future-Edge Therapy and see the changes for yourself. Book a free call to find out how we can help you – there’s no obligation, instead, it’s an opportunity to get to know our therapist better.