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The loss of a loved one is something everyone will go through at some point in their life. Grief can be difficult, making it hard to keep up with day-to-day tasks. The most important thing during this time is to take care of yourself. You don’t have to take drastic measures to maintain your well-being. Rather, focus on small but significant steps that can support emotional and physical wellness. Here are some tips to get started on processing through grief.
Focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly
A healthy diet and regular exercise will fuel your body and alleviate stress. You may have decreased energy when dealing with the emotional grieving process, so focus on cooking easy-to-make recipes that are healthy and reheatable. These crockpot recipes from Delish are great, including everything from tortilla soup to a beef-and-broccoli bowl. To get your exercise, consider working out with a friend. They can be your cheerleader and keep you motivated on days when you aren’t in the mood. This will ensure greater consistency.
Make time to meet with friends and family
Working out with a friend is also a wonderful way to maintain valuable social connections while grieving. Staying social is important, as it gives you a chance to vent. According to the Mayo Clinic, social connections can also help people avoid mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Even a quick phone call or a cup of coffee can be enough to get some endorphins in your brain.
Revamp your home to encourage serenity
When you’re grappling with grief, you need a soothing space to work through emotions. Start by getting rid of clutter, which is shown to heighten feelings of anxiety. When decorating, look for soothing hues like whites and pastels. Vibrant colors can be overwhelming. You can further ramp up your home’s ambiance by adding plenty of plants, aromatherapy candles, cozy blankets, and throw pillows. In the bedroom, install black-out curtains and a white noise machine, which will help ensure you’re getting the sleep you need.
Be prepared to tackle stress head-on
Stress is an inevitable part of everyday life. After a loss, stressful triggers can become even more overwhelming. Be prepared by having some proactive means of addressing stress when it hits. For example, you might try writing a list of your stress triggers, so you can identify and address them early on. Manual therapy techniques from a professional provider like Matrix Therapy PT can also help you address the physical symptoms of stress.
Shift your energy outwards with volunteer work
If you’re still having a tough time with your grief, try to shift your energy and focus outwards. Looking beyond yourself can be a great way to start moving forward. Volunteering is one way you can do this. Plus, it’s shown to have mental health benefits. Seek out opportunities with local schools, churches, homeless shelters, animal shelters, or nonprofits to see how you can contribute to your community.
Pick up a new hobby to keep busy
When you’re in mourning, it can be hard to think about anything else. It’s important to have other tasks to keep you busy. Picking up a hobby you enjoy is an excellent option. Research suggests that a hobby can help reduce the risk of mental health issues. Look for hobbies that will benefit you in other ways, such as by giving you an opportunity to socialize or get physically active. For example, starting a community garden allows you to connect with others, contribute to your community, and get active.
Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult process, mentally and physically. Follow the tips above for actionable steps to help care for yourself during this time.
For more tips to help with the physical and mental repercussions of grief, check out these resources.