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Healthy Steps for Yourself While Grieving

Posted on December 04, 2017

After the loss of a loved one, it is often difficult to move forward.  There are so many things to do: people and organizations to notify, paperwork to complete, possessions to move or sell and the list goes on from there.  Often, we neglect to do the most important thing, taking care of ourselves. We must remember to take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and socially.

  1. Relax – Take a deep breath, clear your mind and take a few moments to chill as is needed.  Be sure to make time for yourself.  It will not just happen.  Make the conscious effort to carve out time to just be yourself, in your own space.   
  2. Accept what it is you are dealing with – You need to recognize the stressful thoughts and feelings.  There are some battles we cannot change.  Instead, you need to be aware of them and work through them.  When you work through them, take them on in little chunks.  Rome was not built in a day.  Prioritize the challenges and little by little work through them. 
  3. Look at things from another point of view – It helps to broaden the perspective.  How would others see this?  Can you look at it from the point of view of the person on the other side of the table?  Is my perception reality?  What can be done now to help the situation?
  4. Be kind to yourself – Try not to be too critical of what you have or have not done.  We all have good days and bad days.  We teach our children to treat others the way you want to be treated.  So, why don’t we treat ourselves the way we want others to treat us?  Be kind and encouraging, not overly critical.
  5. Have some fun – Engage in a hobby.  Find a new skill.  Discover a creative outlet.  Pull out an old favorite pass time and see if you still ‘have it.’  As your interest builds, so will your confidence.
  6. Exercise with regularity – An active lifestyle will lift your mood, reduce anxiety and stress.  You will gain more energy to help with all of your other tasks and obligations. 
  7. Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet – this will go hand in hand with exercise.  More energy and a better mood will follow.  Also, try to avoid alcohol and drugs, as they can sabotage your ability to cope.
  8.  Socialize – Connect with and help others.  When someone asks you to go to lunch or a movie, the answer should always be ‘yes.’  It may be yes with a raincheck, but it is still ‘yes.’  If you say ‘no,’ others will quit asking and you may find yourself alone.  Volunteer with a charity, help a neighbor with a project, get involved in your community, reach out to old friends who have been in your place and lean on them.  It is much easier to go through the grieving process with others.  It is not meant for you to go through alone.

Good luck and Godspeed.  

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