Grieving is an uncertain time for all, and getting through that time is crucial to one’s health. South Coast Family Funeral Services understands the loss of a loved one, expected or sudden, can have a tremendous impact on your life. Grief can cause mental, emotional, and physical anguish that derails your entire routine and puts you on a path of self-destruction. It’s natural to feel sad after losing someone, but if your sadness starts to define you, it’s important to refocus on yourself and seek strategies to support your health and healing.
1. Maintain Healthy Habits in Various Grieving Stages
Changes in behavior are a normal part of the grieving process, but when you abandon your routine altogether for a long period, your mind and body can have greater difficulty recovering. To return to a healthy lifestyle, you can start to reintegrate the following behavioral standards:
- Maintain regular personal hygiene
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise, and find ways to move more throughout the day
- Eat a balanced diet
- Avoid alcohol and substances, particularly as coping mechanisms
2. Spend Time With Loved Ones Throughout the Grieving Process
Grief is immensely personal, but trying to go through it alone may not be the best approach. Isolation often leads to depression and delayed healing. Sharing your feelings and experiences with people who care about you as you navigate the stages of grief can help you work through your own emotions. Plus, you’ll be able to form deep, meaningful connections with those who can relate to your struggle during this difficult time.
3. Alleviate Stress in Your Life
Identifying your stress triggers – the events, thoughts, or feelings that cause you to feel pressure – can help to avoid these roadblocks to overcoming grief. For many people, the most common catalysts for anxiety are feelings related to lack of control, uncertainty, and information shortage. If you can discover what causes you to talk to yourself negatively, you can retrain your thoughts and approach healing in a positive and healthy way.
4. Adopt a New Best Friend
Getting a pet after a loss may seem like a counterproductive distraction to some, but studies show that human-animal interactions decrease stress hormone levels. A pet can also help to boost your mood and lessen your feelings of loneliness. Additionally, adopting an animal means taking on the responsibilities of feeding, training, and caring for another being. This can nudge your brain and body into a structured routine that will serve as the foundation for rebuilding your life after loss.
5. Reduce Stressors in Your Home
Grief is often all-consuming, and in order to cope, you need to be in a peaceful environment. If the state of your home is chaotic, your mind can become overwhelmed and prevent you from moving forward in the grieving process. Decluttering, organizing, or designating a serene space for thinking can be a great first step to feeling better.
6. Seek Grief Counseling
If you’re having trouble dealing with personal loss, and your struggle is keeping you from being productive at work and home, then you may benefit from focused grief counseling. Specifically, you can learn how to accept loss, adjust to life, and cope with internal as well as external change. Working with a counselor can help you healthily process your emotional pain so you can move on with your life.
Everyone grieves in different ways at different rates, and it’s okay if it takes you longer than expected to cope with your loss. The key is remembering to care for yourself as you mourn your loved one so you can emerge with a greater understanding and appreciation for life.