Five Self-Care Tips While Grieving a Loss of a Loved One
Posted by: Erin Ward in Grief and Guidance | August 17, 2020
When grieving a loss, it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Self-care isn’t selfish, and your loved one would want you to take care of yourself.
Many activities also double as meaningful outlets for your grief. This way, you can take care of yourself while honoring your loved one’s memory.
Understandably, it can be difficult to know where to start. But don’t worry, we have a few ideas to get you started.
Below, let’s go over five self-care tips while grieving a loss of a loved one.
1. Make Time for Exercise Each Day
Not only is exercising a healthy self-care activity, it’s also a great outlet for your grief. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a fitness expert to make time for exercise. Exercise comes in many forms, so find something that works for you. Whether that means working out at the gym or joining a recreational sports team.
For example, I recently got into yoga. I like that it can be a relaxing experience or a more intense workout. Mind you, I’m about as flexible as an uncooked spaghetti noodle. However, there are many different poses depending on your skill level and flexibility, so I can always find something that works for me.
2. Get Outside and Enjoy Some Fresh Air
Being in nature is a great way to clear your head and relieve stress. According to a study by Cornell University, being outside for just 10 minutes helps with physical and mental stress symptoms.
For instance, it can be as simple as playing fetch with your dog. Or, before grabbing your mail, take a short walk around the block. If you want a longer activity, you can plan a run or bike ride on a local trail. And if you want some company, invite your friends or family to come along!
3. Do Your Favorite Hobby or Try Something New
Everyone’s grief journey is different, so find an activity that works for you. A great place to start is doing one of your favorite hobbies, such as reading a book or making a craft. Plus, making a craft can double as a memento for honoring your loved one. For example, you can make a scrapbook with photos of them or create a T-Shirt blanket with their old T-Shirts.
Or, don’t be afraid to try something new. Have you always wanted to learn to knit? Or, do you think it would be fun to play the guitar? Give it a try! By making time for activities that you enjoy, you’re making time for self-care.
4. Talk to a Trusted Loved One or Professional Grief Counselor
Self-care doesn’t have to just be solo activities. While it’s important to take time for yourself, especially while reflecting on a loss, you can make time for your loved ones, as well. Of course, you might not be ready to return to social activities, and that’s perfectly okay.
If you’re ready to talk about your grief, choose a trusted loved one to confide in, such as a family member or friend. Or, consider reaching out to a professional grief counselor. While your loved one can be a shoulder to cry on, a professional grief counselor has the training to help you navigate your loss.
5. Take Time Every Day for Self-Care While Grieving a Loss
Once you find activities that work for you, try to make time for self-care each day. Depending on the day, it may just be 30 minutes or several hours. That’s perfectly okay! To keep track of your time, it may help to record them in a chart or journal. By aiming for at least 30 minutes per day, it will soon become a normal part of your daily routine.