Grief and Loss: Self Care
As we grieve it is important to remember to take care of ourselves. Whether we are grieving the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a serious illness, a friend that moved away, etc., we tend to take self care for granted when we are feeling sad. Below are some suggestions from self care that were taken from the University of California San Diego's website.
Grief and Loss: Self Care
Learn how to care for yourself after a loss.
The following suggestions were written to help you take care of yourself following a death, but apply to any kind of loss you might be experiencing.
- Listen to your body: If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to sleep, then do so. If you need to talk to someone, seek out someone who will listen. If you need to reminisce, then take the time. It is important for the grieving process that you go with the flow.
- Lower expectations for yourself: You can't expect yourself to run at full capacity for some time. Give yourself a break and don't expect yourself to perform as well as you did prior to your loss. Educate others that it will take some time before your performance is back to normal.
- Let others know what you need from them: Don't expect others to know what you need. Communicate to family and friends how they can support you.
- If you need counseling, do get it: Get all the support you need. There are many bereavement support groups as well as counselors or spiritual advisors who specialize in bereavement counseling. Don't hesitate to contact a medical and or mental health specialist if you have feelings of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts.
- Take the time to do the things you need to do for yourself: When you feel up to it, engage in activities to which you feel drawn. It could be visiting a place you haven't been to in a while, walks in nature, reading, etc.
- Pamper yourself: Treat yourself well. Without breaking your budget, do things for yourself that are helpful like walks, being with people who are nurturing to you, and inexpensive activities.
- Keep a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you to validate and work through your grief.
- Get physical exercise: If you exercised prior to your loss, try to maintain the same routine. If you did not exercise prior to your loss visit your doctor before embarking on a physical exercise routine. Physical exercise can improve the way you feel.
- Obtain a proper diet and sleep: Maintaining a healthy diet and getting proper sleep is essential for functioning as well as you can. If you are having difficulty with either, visit your doctor.
- Be aware of others' reactions: Many people do not know how to react appropriately to your grief. Some are more comfortable than others in responding to your situation. Be aware that people have different ideas not only about death, but also about how bereaved individuals should react. Be true to yourself and let others know if they say something inappropriate.
To view this article on the UCSD website click here.