Dealing with grief is very personal and everyone goes about it in his or her own way. There is no one way fits all. I am not an expert in this, but I recently had a big loss in my life and want to share some things that have been helping me through. My hope is that this post may help you either today or in the future when you are struggling with sadness. Even if you are not dealing with any grief, you can still apply much of the below information in your daily life.
Helping you deal with grief:
1. Nature is the best medicine.
Getting out, walking and being in nature is incredibly healing. Exercise helps relieve stress, boosts endorphin production, and thus improves your mood. Fresh air provides energy, helps clear your mind, and just makes you feel better overall. This is due to the increased oxygen levels you get from being outside. I lived in extreme grief for the first week after my loss. My world turned upside down and I was beside myself. Getting up and going for a morning walk was not on my radar. The second week however, I knew I needed to start making small changes to help me get back to feeling myself or I would end up in a terrible place. A morning walk was the first step. It was my only change that second week, but I started feeling slightly better each day. I highly recommend starting with walks outside when you don’t know where to start.
2. Focus on what you are grateful for.
I started to say what I was grateful for again each morning. I did it prior to my loss, but it had been a few weeks. Feeling grateful helps shift your mindset. If you do it right away in the morning, it starts your day off on a positive note. Really take the time to breathe it in and feel it. I often stop in the sunshine on my morning walk (if there is sun), close my eyes and express my gratitude silently.
3. Journal Your Thoughts.
Journaling never crossed my mind prior to my loss. What started as a book for me to write down signs that I never wanted to forget, also ended up being a journal where I would write down everything I wanted to say. Sometimes expressing yourself on paper is all you need to feel a little better and get your emotions out.
It just helps. Whether you have zero clue how to meditate or not, it doesn’t matter. Starting and keeping consistent is the key. Just by taking deep inhales and exhales and focusing on your breath for 5 minutes a day is a great place to start. You may not feel any different for awhile. It’s ok, keep doing it. You’ll start feeling the change eventually.
5. Surround yourself with good people.
Even when you don’t feel like talking to anyone, the fact that you know you have people that care and are checking on you is everything. A good support system in life is gold.
6. Keep your mind busy.
When you are able to, immerse yourself in your work, find a hobby that you are passionate about, spend your time helping others – anything that will help keep your mind busy. Taking your mind off of thinking of your loss all day every day will help you move forward little by little.
With all of this said, I think it’s really important to let yourself grieve and go through a grieving process before jumping into the above. Cry all day, live in bed if you want, be sad, mad, regretful, have guilt, whatever you have to do or feel. I think if you put all your feelings aside right away, you’ll be dealing with them later.
Just be honest with yourself. When the time comes that you are capable to start helping yourself feel better, really try hard to do this. Don’t feel guilty about feeling better either. It’s not that you still won’t feel sadness each day or have bad days. It’s just that you won’t let it consume all your days and life. I am still dealing with grief and usually cry on the daily. I just let it come and go as it does. I’ll cry or be sad, mad and just honor whatever I am feeling for the times it arises. Once I have felt what I needed, I then am able to keep moving forward and be happy the majority of the time.
“Little by little, we let go of loss…but never of love.” Unknown
Grateful you are here,
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