How to Care for Yourself While Grieving The loss of someone or something important to you is among life’s greatest challenges. In most cases, the pain can be devastating. You could go through a whole range of sudden, complex emotions, from disbelief to guilt to very deep sadness. The experience can also affect your physical health, making it a struggle to eat, sleep or even think correctly. These reactions are, of course, normal. But while there are no right or wrong ways to cope with grief, there is an approach that can help ease you into the entire process. Self-care
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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.
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Acceptance You can try to stifle your grief, but not forever. Confronting your pain is critical to healing. Shunning your feelings of sadness and loss only extends the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also bring complications, such as anxiety, depression, drug abuse and illness. Tangible or Creative Expression Expressing your grief in some tangible or creative way helps in processing your grief. Write about it in a journal, for example. If a loved one just died, write a letter saying everything you never had a chance to say; make a photo album that celebrates the person’s life; or be part of a cause or organization that your loved one was passionate about. Physical Health Always remember that the mind and body are connected. If you are physically healthy, it will be easier to regain emotional health. Fight stress and fatigue by sleeping, eating and exercising enough. Skip alcohol or drugs which only numb your pain or lift your mood temporarily. Hobbies and Interests There’s comfort going back to the things you used to do, especially those that you always enjoyed. The more you connect with other people, the less the pain becomes. However, don’t let anyone, including yourself, force you into feeling this or that. Your grief is its own, and nobody can impose when you should let go or move on. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel, without judgment or embarrassment. Let yourself cry or not cry, be mad, or even laugh or smile at those small 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, remember that this is completely normal. Again, accept the pain and deal with it, but not without expressing it.