In this month’s Self-Care Corner, we are sharing ideas for taking care of yourself on your grief journey.
Grief can look so incredibly different from one person to the next. With some people it may look like anxiety, not wanting to get out of bed, showering, brushing teeth, or eating. With others, they may try to ignore it or deny it to attempt to keep pushing through their days. Regardless, grieving souls require self-care; here are some reasons why.
It is important to take care of yourself during times of confusion and loss. Without self-care, it can be hard to ground yourself or take care of yourself as well as the other things around you that need your attention, such as children, pets, parents, or maybe even your plants or garden. Some things can be put on hold, such as cleaning the house, but it is important to take care of yourself and those who are relying on your care. Self-care allows you to put some control into your life when going through a time when it may feel like you have no control.
There are many different types of self-care, and it can be done in many different ways. Some types of self-care include mental, physical, emotional, or social self-care. Here are some self-care tips for each category.
- Set goals. Setting goals can help to motivate you. These goals do not have to be over the top, like running a mile every day. Instead, they should be easily achievable to help you feel accomplished as well as in control of your life. An example would be doing a load of laundry each week.
- Set boundaries. Sometimes when dealing with grief after losing someone, many different people are going to come to you to ask if you’re okay, if you need any help, or if you want to spend time together. Setting boundaries will allow you to process what has happened and it will also signal to the people around you that you may need some time. It is important to be able to be around people and have a social circle, but do not feel that you need to please everyone during this difficult time of your life.
- Eat food you enjoy. Sometimes when grieving, you may forget to eat or not even have an appetite at all. Food is our fuel, and we need to fuel our bodies. Go get your favorite take-out meal, or cook your favorite cozy homemade food.
- Go on a walk or meditate. When you find it hard to manage your day, try to spend some time outside. This can help clear your mind and allow you to think and process.
- Let your feelings out. This may entail talking to somebody such as a friend, family member, or therapist. It is important to let your emotions out and be vulnerable with yourself.
- Understand your feelings. Sometimes our emotions and feelings have a bigger impact on our daily lives than we think. When you wake up sad or depressed, it may be harder to get out of bed or socialize with your co-workers. Understanding your emotions can help you know why one day may be harder than the next.
- Spend time around people. Sometimes you need the support of others in such a difficult time. Try to spend time with those you enjoy being around. If you don’t like the idea of this, you could always try to go somewhere in public to be around the presence of others, such as a park or maybe even a store.
- Join a support group. It may be beneficial to be part of a support group of individuals who understand your grief. You may meet new friends through this group as well as have a chance to talk about your loved one and the many different emotions you may be feeling.
-Mara Wozniak, Social Work Intern