Managing Grief: Caring for Yourself While Honoring the Ones You Loved

By: Lucille Rosetti
Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Managing Grief: Caring for Yourself While Honoring the Ones You Loved


Grief can be an enormous strain on our entire well-being. The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. And when you start to make unhealthy choices, it’s important to learn how to be strong enough to make changes.


If you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, these words of guidance may help you cope with the pain you are feeling.


Know That Grief Comes in Waves


It’s important is to remember that every person’s grieving process is different. For many people, grief is less of a strict process and more like riding through waves of emotions. You may feel surprisingly upbeat one day and be overwhelmed by sadness the next, and this is all normal. Try to take it one day at a time and focus on the good days, rather than dwelling on the bad ones.


If you are having a gloomy day, try to figure out what your mind and body need to cope. Maybe that means going outside for a walk or staying in and curling up with your favorite book. Know that at some point, your waves of grief will be farther apart, but for now, it helps to know what to do when they hit.


Remember to Be Kind to Yourself


You may be tempted to turn to alcohol or other coping mechanisms. Take a pause and ask yourself if this is the healthiest choice for you. Using drugs and alcohol may seem like a good way to numb the pain but they will only make stress and anxiety worse. Channel your grief into healthier habits, such as yoga or meditation, to help you reflect on your loss while calming your body and mind. Reach out to friends or take your dog for a walk. Get as much rest as you can and don’t forget to nourish your body with water and healthy foods.


Learn to Let Go of Guilt


When you lose a loved one, you are flooded with emotions. One of the most common emotions associated with mourning is guilt. You may feel regret that you did not spend more time with your loved one or that you took them for granted. It’s even possible to feel guilty for being alive when they are gone. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings, learn from them and release the negativity they can bring to your life. Find ways to pay tribute your loved one, like putting together a photo collage or writing about some of your favorite memories. Stay focused on the elements you can control to help heal your emotions.


Celebrate Small Victories


It often takes time to feel any semblance of normal after the death of a loved one. You may feel less motivated to get things done in your everyday life.  Know that this is OK. Don’t be too hard on yourself on days you feel too overwhelmed to tackle your “to-do” lists. Instead, reflect on what you have been able to accomplish so far. At the end of each of these days, make a list of all that you have done, rather than what remains to be done and celebrate these small steps toward feeling like yourself again.


Grieving the death of someone you love is a personal process but that doesn’t mean you have to face this alone. You can take steps to take care of yourself without feeling like your loved one is forgotten. Keep them in your mind and heart and release any negativity. Remember to breathe, be patient with yourself and eventually, you will be able to pick up the pieces of happiness again.

Photo via Unsplash

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