After the loss of a loved one, grief can come about in ways you didn’t expect. Our care team at Spring Grove recognizes that each grief journey is different, and it is important not to compare your experience with others’ journeys. However, one common aspect of grief is the necessity to practice self-care.
While grieving, it is easy to neglect your own physical needs. You may be finding it difficult to do things that used to seem simple— washing your hair, cleaning your space, or eating breakfast. After a death has occurred, the last thing you may be thinking about is yourself. Our experienced staff has gathered a list of ways to practice self-care while grieving.
1. Incorporate Movement into your Routine
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but gentle movements like yoga, jogging, swimming, or walking can brighten your mood. While exercise cannot extinguish your grief, the release of endorphins you experience can help propel you forward during these difficult days. If you can, try exercising outdoors for added health benefits. Moving near or around nature can also alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling at this time.
2. Eat Nourishing Meals
While grief can often cause a loss of appetite or disinterest in food, it is crucial to prioritize eating balanced meals. What you eat has a huge impact on your well-being, both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, when we’re experiencing deep sadness, nutritional choices can be overwhelming, leading us to reach for the most convenient option. While you may wish to satisfy your cravings for carb-heavy snacks, eating nutritious meals will help you maintain your energy levels to make it through the day. Keeping your meals simple but healthy is something you can do for yourself during this time.
3. Play Comforting Music
Listening to a favorite artist, discovering a new song, or playing an instrument all positively impact both our physical and emotional health. A sad song can comfort your sorrow, while a happier song can help lift your spirits, even if it is momentary. When you are having trouble expressing thoughts and feelings, a particular song may help you find the words you need and remind you that you are not alone. Music can serve as a form of relaxation, help with meditation, and offer solace.
4. Surround Yourself with Supportive Friends
After the recent loss of a loved one, it’s easy to want to isolate yourself or avoid interaction, but now is the time to lean on the people you love. Fortunately, any of the above activities can be shared with a friend or family member. Meet for a hike, plan to cook together, or just sit together and share how you’re feeling, if you are comfortable. Spending quality time with those who care about you and will listen to you can serve as a necessary reminder that you do not have to experience this loss on your own. People in your support network are most likely eager to help you out, whether it’s preparing a meal, shopping for groceries, helping out around the house, or offering childcare. Even if you take pride in being self-sufficient, it is important to reach out for something when you need it, so that you may better focus on your personal healing during this time. There is no right or wrong way to process your grief, and healing does not operate on one timeline— inevitably, the process is complex and takes time. Above all, remember that you do not have to walk through your grief alone. Seeking support through a grief counselor or therapist can be vital to healing from loss.
At Spring Grove, we have a variety of events happening throughout the year. Each month, we hold a Grief to Peace gathering, a Men in Grief gathering, and a Virtual Grief to Peace gathering. Check out the events page on our website for more information along with dates and times.