Discover practical self-care tips for coping with grief and loss. From acknowledging diverse emotional responses to addressing basic needs, learn how self-compassion, regular routines, and adjusting expectations contribute to a compassionate healing journey.
Grief is a unique and complex emotional journey, encompassing a range of feelings such as sadness, shock, anger, and relief. Understanding this diversity is crucial, as there is no right or wrong way to navigate the challenging loss process. In this blog post, we explore effective self-care strategies to cope with grief and promote healing.
Recognize the diverse emotional responses to grief, ranging from immense sadness and depression to shock, disbelief, or numbness. It’s normal for feelings to be mixed; acknowledging these emotions is the first step in practising effective self-care during such a difficult time.
Listen to Your Body:
- Ensure adequate sleep, understanding that changes in sleep patterns are common.
- Allow yourself to express emotions, whether crying more than usual or needing more rest. Acknowledge and embrace these changes.
Maintain Regular Eating Habits:
- Stick to regular eating times to positively impact mood and overall health.
Avoid Substance Use:
- Refrain from using drugs or alcohol, as they can hinder the development of healthier coping mechanisms.
Prioritize Physical Health:
- If you used to work out before your loss, consider following a similar schedule. Physical activity contributes positively to mental and physical well-being.
- Talk kindly to yourself and practice self-compassion. Research emphasizes the significant impact of self-compassion on well-being.
Recognize that you don’t need to handle everything perfectly immediately. Adjusting expectations may mean saying “no” more often to preserve energy and prioritize your needs. Understand that the journey through grief is unique for each individual, and self-care is an integral aspect of navigating this challenging time.
Healing from grief takes time, effort, and a generous dose of self-love. Embrace self-compassion, regular routines, and the understanding that adjustments are part of the healing process. By addressing fundamental needs and adjusting expectations, you create a compassionate environment for healing.
Navigating grief requires acknowledging emotions, practising self-care, and adjusting expectations. Remember, healing is a unique journey for each individual. Be kind to yourself, prioritize self-care, and allow time for the healing process to unfold naturally.
If you’re seeking additional support on your journey through grief, explore our resources or reach out to our mental health professionals. Healing takes time, and you don’t have to go through it alone.
If you or someone in your family needs help dealing with grief or managing a loss, it may be a good idea to seek professional help.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Elena Marinopoulou is a Behaviour Analyst with the Willingness Team. She works with children and adults and has a strong interest in parent training, sleep and feeding issues emerging during childhood, as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Support and self-care for grief. Mind. (n.d.-a). https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/support-and-self-care/
Buonaccorso, L., Tanzi, S., Sacchi, S., Alquati, S., Bertocchi, E., Autelitano, C., Taberna, E., & Martucci, G. (2022). Self-care as a method to cope with suffering and death: A participatory action-research aimed at quality improvement. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.769702
What does grief feel like?. Mind. (n.d.). https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to support-and-services/bereavement/experiences-of-grief/#:~:text=Shock%2C%20denial%20or%20disbelief.,can%20last%20a%20long%20time.
11 top tips on self-care while grieving. Marie Curie. (n.d.). https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/talkabout/articles/self-care-grieving/315383