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  • Writer's pictureJo Anastasia

4 Self-Care Tips When You're Dealing With Grief

Everyone faces loss from time to time. It could be the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, or even a sense of normalcy. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are dealing with some type of loss and grief than ever before.

One survey recently discovered that in the U.S. alone, 57% of Americans have experienced the loss of a loved one over the last three years.

While the grieving process looks different for everyone, it’s all about acceptance, so you can eventually learn to move forward. While you’re grieving, though, it’s easy to forget to take care of your own basic needs.

If you’re feeling lost in your grief and you’re not sure how to take charge of your self-care routine, you’re not alone. Let’s look at a few tips you can use when you’re coping with a loss. By putting these into practice, you’ll give your mind and body the boost they need to keep moving on.

1. Get Enough Sleep

When you feel overwhelmed with grief, it’s easy to feel like your thoughts are racing 24/7. That can make it difficult to sleep, at times. But, it’s important to get enough rest, especially when you’re feeling low.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to create healthier sleep habits for yourself. Create a “nighttime routine” that you can follow before getting into bed each night. Go to sleep around the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning. It can take some time to get into a routine, but once you do it can make sleeping much easier.

2. Exercise Every Day

There are so many benefits to exercise that go well beyond a number on a scale. Exercising when you’re grieving, even though you may not initially want to, can help you to feel better.

Exercise boosts endorphins in your brain and can actually help you feel happier. It gives you more energy, and if you exercise outside, you’ll get an extra mood-boost!

You don’t have to go to the gym each day to get in a healthy, satisfying workout. Do something you enjoy, whether it’s dancing to your favorite music or taking a walk around your neighborhood with a friend. If you start with something you actually like doing, you’re more likely to stick with it. Plus, working out with a partner helps to hold you more accountable. So, even on days when you don’t feel like being active, you’ll have someone encouraging you to do it!

3. Be More Mindful

Mindfulness is more than just a buzzword. It gets thrown around a lot these days, but it is actually an incredibly effective strategy that can help you cope with loss.

It isn’t difficult to practice mindfulness. Simply take a few minutes within your day to relax, close your eyes, and focus on nothing but the present. How does your body feel in that particular moment? Concentrate on your breathing. Thoughts will continue to come in, but it’s important to let them pass by like clouds, not hodling onto them. Mindfulness allows you to let go of the pain of the past and the worries of the future. Even just a few minutes each day can make a big difference.

4. Lean On Your Support System

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Leaning on friends, family members, or even a mental health professional can help you accept the reality of your loss and move forward.

Simply talking about your experience can help. But, your support system might also be able to assist you with things like cremation pendants for ashes or other memorial items that will allow you to hang onto someone you love while still moving on with your life. If you’re experiencing a different kind of loss, like a job or relationship, the right people in your corner can lift your spirits and help you see the clarity of the future. Just knowing people are there that you can depend on can keep you from falling too deeply into the depts of grief.

As you can see, self-care is crucial when you’re dealing with grief and loss. It also doesn’t have to be difficult. You might have a hard time fniding motivation to care for yourself, at first. But, the more you do it, the easier it will become and the better you’ll feel. When you can accept the reality of your loss, you can fully start to move forward, and leave grief behind you.

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