8 Self-Care Practices to Help You Grieve & Move Beyond Loss

Feb 21, 2024 | News

When someone we love dies, our world can feel like it’s crashing down around us. Losing a loved one can be devastating and overwhelming, so identifying the most effective ways to cope with the loss is critical. Self-care is one of the most important aspects to process and be with your grief, and then when the time is right to be able to move forward after the loss. Whilst self-care is crucial it is also one of the hardest to implement.

Self-care is about caring for yourself and taking care of your needs to have the best chance of recovering and moving forward. In other words, it’s about giving yourself the support you need to get through a difficult situation.

Learn the Different Types of Self-Care
Self-care encompasses a wide range of behaviours and practices that can improve your well-being, lower your stress levels and facilitate healing. These behaviours are mainly dependent on individual preferences, but a few types of self-care seem to be essential for anyone who is grieving.

Some of the most important types of self-care that everyone can practice during times of loss are:
● Active: Engaging in activities that give your body and mind something to do and focus your attention on.
● Receptive: Pay attention to your emotions and use that information to guide you in acknowledging your feelings

1. Be with your feelings and seek support where you need to
The first step is to acknowledge that you’re in a stressful situation. Life is not going to feel normal now and it probably won’t feel the same ever again without your loved one. It is critical to recognize that you’re dealing with loss and may be experiencing some symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re in a stressful situation, it’s time to begin the healing process by talking to someone you trust and opening up about your feelings. Talking to a trusted friend, coach, therapist or medium can be a source of comfort and help you identify what you’re feeling.

2. Practice Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can help you feel more grounded and in control during times of grief and high stress. There are many types of breathing exercises, and the one you choose will depend on your preferences and personal situation.

One type of breathing exercise commonly used to help with grief is guided imagery. You can google lots of free mediations with guided imagery.

Here are some examples of imagery scripts that can help you through times of high stress:
●      I am breathing in calm and clear thoughts.
●      I am breathing in healthy feelings of love and support.
●      I am breathing in gentle, calming white light.
●      I am breathing in love and comfort from my loved ones in Spirit

3. Write Your To-Do List
If you have given yourself time to just “be” and need some kind of help in getting going again with your life, writing a to-do list can help you feel focused and organized, even when you are still grieving or feel highly stressed.

Writing your to-do list can also be an effective way to process your thoughts and identify what you’re feeling.

When you’re journaling, you’re creating a to-do list that you can cross off as you complete tasks, such as writing down what you’re grateful for, listing the things you’re happy to have still, or making a list of things to do.

Here are some examples of to-do lists you can use:
●      I am healing and maintaining my health.
●      I am finding joy in the here and now.
●      I am moving forward and celebrating small victories.
●      I am spending time with those I love.
●      I am spending time with those I care for.
●      I am seeking support when I need to.

4. Eat Well
Eating well can help you feel nourished and balanced, as well as give you the energy to get back up and take care of your responsibilities in life. Eating well can also help you process your emotions and focus your thoughts. Some foods that are helpful for processing emotions include protein-rich foods such as fish, nuts, or beans, healthy fats such as avocados, and whole grains.

5. Get Some Exercise
Exercising can improve your mood, increase your sense of well-being, and reduce stress levels. Physical activity shows it can reduce symptoms of depression, so it can also be beneficial for grieving souls who are feeling depressed or hopeless.

Some types of exercise used to improve mood and reduce symptoms of grief include:
●      Walking
●      Yoga
●      Stretching
●      Housekeeping exercises eg. cleaning your room, sweeping the floor, washing the dishes
●      Gardening
●      Sewing
●      Cardio such as jogging, dancing or walking

6. Take a Holiday
Taking a holiday may be necessary to break your routine and help you out of the stress cycle. Research suggests that holidays improve well-being by giving your body and mind a much-needed break from work or school. Taking a holiday can also allow you to generate a fresh perspective on your life and clear your mind. I say to all my clients that when there is a great death in our life that there is also an opportunity for something new to be birthed. What is it or how is it that you want to make the most of your life moving forward. This is a time where you can reflect on whether you are happy with how you are living your life and decide on what big changes you might like to do to make the most out of your life moving forward.

7. Set Up a Relaxing Environment
Sitting in silence and focusing your attention on your breathing can help you process your thoughts and identify what you’re feeling. Creating a calming environment in your home or putting on nature sounds such as rain or ocean can help you feel more centred and present. Research has also found that listening to music that you love can help you to process your emotions.

Some ideas for creating a relaxing environment in your home include:
●      Use dim lights and turn on soft, soothing music
●      Put on a favourite blanket or cosy sweater
●      Create a calming environment by turning off the computer, removing your phones/tablets, and turning off the TV
●      Practice mindfulness in everyday life, such as brushing your teeth and showering
●      Journal about your feelings
●      Take a hot bath or shower with lavender essential oil

8. Find What Works for You
Self-care is vital to help you process loss and move forward. There are many ways to practice self-care, and you’ll benefit from each one in different ways. Some may be more applicable to you at certain times, while others may work better for you at work or in your personal life.

The most important thing is to find what works for you and make sure you are getting the support you need.

Soul Love


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