When we are experiencing grief, it’s incredibly important to practice both physical and emotional self care to naturally progress through the different stages of grief. If we ignore the opportunity to grieve, those negative feelings can ferment and affect our health, relationships, career, and overall enjoyment in life.
1. Get enough sleep
This may mean that you will need to get more than 7 or 8 hours of sleep daily. Ensure that you are providing your body with the proper time to rest.
2. Exercise & walking
Exercise has many benefits. It lowers your stress hormones, releases endorphins that improve your mood, it improves sleep quality, and enhances your confidence and competence. Simply going for a daily walk will make a huge difference, or find an exercise activity you enjoy.
3. Avoid alcohol, medication, drugs, and sugar
It’s important to remember that when in emotional or physical pain it’s common to want to numb your feelings with alcohol, drugs, food, work, sex, and buying things, but this is a temporary fix to escape. In the long run this can lead to greater stress, depression, anxiety, addiction, emotional breakdown, and being disconnected from support.
4. Connect with people who care for you
Connecting with people helps you feel a sense of social support, lifts your belonging, and your self worth.
5. Eat a healthy diet and eat regularly
Similarly to getting regular sleep, eating regularly and eating healthy meals fuels your body so you can heal.
6. Accept that you need time to grieve and heal
Grief comes in many forms, and is a natural response to any type of loss. We grieve many things, sometimes on a daily basis! Grief is often misunderstood and it’s unfortunately not discussed as often as it should be. Accepting that it’s okay to grieve and to taking the time to grieve is very important.
7. Get a massage
Balancing your body and mind by getting a massage can be very impactful in improving your mood.
8. Practice meditation
Meditation can help anchor you to the present moment. It can lower negative rumination or thinking that causes stress and anxiety.
9. Self-hypnosis or hypnotherapy
Practicing self-hypnosis on your own, or working with a hypnotherapist helps you reprogram your unconscious thoughts and behaviours that may be keeping you stuck in a specific stage of grief.
Neurofeedback trains the brain to be more flexible and resilient. By using a Neuroptimal device to monitor your brainwaves, the device gives subtle cues to your brain when it detects inefficient functioning. With practice, your brain becomes more resilient which means you will respond better to other mindfulness practices.
If grief is interfering with daily healthy life, then a counsellor can be helpful in helping you explore your emotions and experiences, helping you normalize them, and teach you coping strategies and skills.
When I work with clients experiencing grief, I use and teach strategies that reset the central nervous system, balancing the brain which enables individuals to move through the various stages of grief more easily. If you are experiencing grief and would like a counsellor to help you navigate your experience, please book an appointment.