Grief: How to Take Care of Yourself in Difficult Times
What are you feeling right now? How are you grieving?
The truth is, I can’t know, and it isn’t because I don’t know you.
The truth is that everyone grieves uniquely. Each loss in your life will most likely be processed differently. Sure, there will be people who insist grief follows certain stages. There will also be those with good intentions who impose their idea of what grieving should be. Just thank them and move on. There is no right or wrong way to feel and no grief check-off list of emotions to travel.
Sadness, despair, anger, guilt, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance, melancholy, relief, numbness, disassociation, suppression, depression, anxiety, joy, abandonment, loneliness, and more can all be experienced by someone in grief. Accept what you are feeling and open up space to experience the emotions.
Holding things in, forcing emotions, or feeling the need to suppress feelings could cause you to feel miserable and lengthen the grieving process.
The unsettling news is that no one knows exactly what you are going through right now. https://www.cancercare.org/publications/135-grief_and_healing_coping_with_the_loss_of_a_loved_one
The comforting news is that the steps to taking care of yourself in this difficult time are the same. Before we continue, please know: my heart going out to yours with love in this tough time.
Create A Nourish Routine for Yourself in This Time of Grief
In times of grief, it may help to nurture yourself like you would a beloved child.
Create a strict schedule of when you will wake up, what times you will prepare and eat meals when you exercise, when you will set aside time for solitude to ‘just be’ with your emotions, when you will do something that comforts you, and when you will go to bed.
Why should you create an iron schedule?
Someone processing the emotions of grief needs high-quality sleep, nourishment, exercise in the fresh air and sunshine, and comfort.
Without exercise, you will find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Not eating high-quality food at regular intervals will negatively impact your health and well-being. We want to boost the endorphins in your brain to bring you back toward a state of homeostasis. Exercise, fresh air, and sunshine, healthy, regular meals, a good night’s rest, and comforting activities will boost the feel food chemicals in your body.
Schedule In Comforting Activities
What activities do you find particularly uplifting and soothing? Add time into your schedule for these activities every day to boost the positive chemicals in your brain. Some examples of comforting activities include: drinking tea and reading a book, curling up to watch a comedy, dancing, playing with a pet, cuddling and reading to your child, baking, gardening, painting, coloring, writing, crafting, photography, or playing cards.
I want you to keep picturing a beloved child that is going through a tough time. This is the child within you. If envisioning the child within you is uncomfortable, imagine you are creating this schedule for a loved child you know. Once you have written down your plan, commit to following it just like you would if you were nurturing a beloved child.
Add in a Few Minutes of Daily Yoga
You may have never tried yoga before, or you may be a decade long yogini. Wherever you are, and at whatever age, there is a yoga class that can soothe and provides release from the comfort of your own home.
Below you will find the links to my all-time favorite classes for tough times of grief.
For the Beginner:
Mindful Yin Yoga: Jennifer
Yoga for Grief & Trauma: Amanda
For the Intermediate:
Self Healing: Amanda
Yin Yoga: Surrender
For the Advanced:
However, if these do not resonate or uplift you, then I encourage you to search through the classes on youtube. I recommend you search for a slow Yin Yoga class to open, soothe, and relax you in your time of grief.
But perhaps a quick moving and strengthening power flow would better serve you if you better if you are feeling anxious, wound up, angry, or drained.
Even if you spend the entire yoga session laying on your mat and breathing the yoga breath, you will feel better when you get up. Pulling the attention away from the circling thoughts in your head and focusing on the breath will center and ground you while opening space for emotions to release.
Make Meals Easy And Healthy
You may be throwing your energy into cooking five-star meals during this time of grief, or you could have no appetite at all. Either way, focus on cooking with whole foods.
Resist the urge to pour in cream and heap in butter. Choose whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and piles of fresh vegetables and fruit. Go for easy, and don’t worry about eating the same healthy meals day after day right now. The important thing is that you eat fresh, whole foods, and not processe