It’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re grieving, especially when you have a lot on your plate. However, when you’re grieving, that’s the most important time to take care of yourself.
Grief can feel overwhelming, so the first step towards taking care of yourself is giving yourself time to heal. If you have to take a break from social media for a few days, that’s perfectly fine! Your health comes first. If you’re not feeling up to being around people, then take some time to focus on yourself. Turn your phone off and stay home if you need to. Disconnect from the world for a little so that you can let your thoughts out and breathe. This is the time for you to be in touch with your feelings, when you can be in the comfort of your own home and cry if you need to. In order to take care of yourself, you cannot ignore your feelings. Let yourself feel every emotion and let it out.
I lost a very close friend a few years ago, and I took care of myself by first taking a bath. Taking a bath can help you to relax and isolate yourself from the world. You can listen to music, read a book and focus on your skin care routine while in the bath. Most importantly, no one will bother you and you can relax in peace. You can have candles around you too so that your environment also smells good.
After a few days of disconnecting from the world, an important part of self-care is connecting with the people you trust. After I lost my close friend, I isolated myself from everybody for about a month—I now realize that was probably one of the loneliest months of my life. Having a few days for yourself is fine, but anything more than that can be damaging. After a little while, it’s time to reconnect with your friends. But start off with the people you trust the most who you know will listen to you without judging. This can be your mom, sibling, best friend, etc. Let them know that you’re ready to talk and just let your feelings out to them.
Another way to self-care is through exercise. This can be going for a jog, a walk around the park or going to the gym. While I was grieving, I focused all of my energy into building my muscles. This helped me to get lost in working out and to forget about the world for a bit. Exercising is a good way to keep yourself active, and will also give you a chance to get away from the world. Going to the gym can be therapeutic because you’re putting all your energy into taking care of your body.
Another way to self-care while grieving is to pick up a hobby. Try something that is out of your comfort zone. If you don’t usually draw, pick up a piece of paper and doodle away. If you’re not in the habit of reading, pick up a book in a genre you find interesting and read. If you have a bike lying around, go for a ride around the neighborhood. Having a hobby will help you to channel your emotions, and will also keep you occupied. I recommend writing your feelings out. If you normally don’t like to talk to people and like to keep your emotions to yourself, turn to writing. It’s important to let your feelings out, so if writing them down will help you release your emotions, you should do it! I wrote a lot after my friend passed away, and I still have those notes to this day. It’s great to look back on and see how I felt and then to realize that I’m in a better place now. So try writing it out, whether it’s in a form of a letter, a poem, a short story, or more.
Finally, one last tip to self-care while grieving is to listen to music. Sometimes, when it’s hard to decipher your feelings, music can do the talking for you. When I was grieving, I listened to a lot of sad songs because they helped to explain what I was feeling. But I also listened to some upbeat dance music to get myself out of my mood. Regardless of what genre you listen to, listening to music can help lift your spirits or offer reassurance.". When it all comes down to it, there’s always a song that explains what you’re feeling.
I hope that these tips will help you to take care of yourself while you’re grieving. Are there are any other ways you take care of yourself? Let us know!