When we lose a loved one, grief is a normal part of the process. It’s undoubtedly an incredibly difficult time in your life and you’re probably experiencing a range of emotions from sadness to rage to denial. These feelings are all normal.
During your period of grief, self-care and self-compassion are extremely important. You may feel guilty when you think about doing things for yourself or your wellness, but remember, an important part of mental health recovery is taking care of yourself.
We’ve put together a few ways to take time for your mental health and wellness. Through this, you may begin to understand your feelings and recognize that you are not alone in your emotions or experiences.
Here are a few things you can add to your schedule to practice self-care:
1) Practice self-kindness
When we’re grieving or stressed, it can be more difficult to be kind to ourselves. We encourage you to take a few more moments to be kind to yourself, however. Practicing self-kindness involves identifying and understanding that no person is perfect. You may be tempted to blame yourself here or think of all the things you wish you had done differently. Self-kindness involves a nonjudgmental state about your abilities and mistakes. You are not a failure for making mistakes. This is not a part of your self-worth.
This process may also involve self-care, as well. How can you be kind and nurture yourself when you’re feeling frustrated or sad? You may have a favorite activity you could engage in or you may want to take a few minutes to meditate or sit quietly. Find the things that comfort you and engage in them when needed. There isn’t any guilt associated with self-care and self-compassion.
2) Embrace common humanity.
It can often feel like you’re the only one suffering or in pain. Sometimes we look around the world and see the external view of others. Our friends and family may seem happy. Maybe your co-worker just got a promotion. Clearly, his life is more rewarding and stable. It’s easy to feel this way, but it’s not often true. All humans — no matter how happy they appear — have and will experience pain. Feeling pain and loss is one of the qualifications of being human. When you’re suffering, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and you are not the only one experiencing pain. This view of a “common humanity” can help keep you from feeling isolated.
3) Take moments for mindfulness.
We all experience a plethora of emotions — good and bad. Mindfulness involves being curious about these emotions and not judging how you feel. Mindfulness means not suppressing or stuffing down your feelings. Instead of ignoring your pain, be aware of your thoughts. What do you feel? You may want to practice naming your feelings. “I feel sad” or “I’m feeling overwhelmed by work.” You can even begin journaling these thoughts as a way to express and better understand them. Remember, you don’t have to solve any issues you have or over-identify your feelings, instead work to embrace and understand them.
Please also remember that, with time, things will improve. Give yourself time to grieve, but remember to take care of yourself with these simple methods during the process. If we can help you with anything else along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact us: https://daltonhoopes.com/
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