Grief manifests differently in all of us. It can feel like heartache, anger, fatigue, numbness, or even bodily pain. Some people lose their appetite or lose interest in the things they love.
While these profound emotions can feel insurmountable, you’re not alone. Grief is a natural part of life that almost everyone must go through.
No two individuals’ grieving process is alike, and your path to healing will be unique to your situation. But everyone experiencing a loss can help ease their pain and take care of their emotional, mental and physical health as they learn to cope with a new life without the person they love.
Tend To Your Physical Health
Grief takes a physical toll. After the loss of a loved one, just getting up in the morning can be a monumental struggle. But taking care of your physical health during this difficult time will benefit your emotional and mental health as well. While routine may feel foreign when grieving, establishing some basic habits throughout your day has real benefits.
Getting enough sleep can be hard. You may be too anxious to rest properly. But try to establish a regular sleeping pattern. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day helps people get regular rest, which can ease depression.
What you eat also impacts how you feel. Maintaining a healthy diet can do wonders for your mental state. If your body is running on fuel that’s good for it, you’ll feel better physically, which affects your mood. Even if you have no appetite, trying to eat small meals or snacks will help you maintain the energy you will need to get through the first days and weeks of loss.
Your Mind Matters, Too
Grief is one of the hardest things you’ll ever experience, and the desire to try to avoid it is natural. No one wants to feel pain. However, you must sit with your emotions before you can heal.
One way to do this is to find a positive outlet to express your emotions. Journaling, art, gardening, and music are great ways to express yourself in a healthy way. Talking to someone you trust and feel comfortable with (or not talking, just sitting together quietly) can be extremely healing. Meditating every day can help calm your head and your heart, as well as help you sleep better.
Whatever you do, make sure to give yourself time to feel and honor your emotions. With time and compassion for yourself, you can begin to heal.
Don’t Go It Alone
Humans are social creatures. We need other people just as we need food and rest. While socializing with others is easier when you’re feeling happy, it’s equally important when you’re grieving.
When a loved one has died, it’s easy to isolate and let negative emotions overwhelm you. It’s important to have a support network of friends and family you can reach out to during this time.
Professional support can be very beneficial. Individual counseling or groups can help people feel less alone in their grief and help them find ways to manage their emotions and move forward after loss. At Chapman Funerals & Cremations, we offer many online resources that can help people who have experienced the death of a loved one.
Faith is also a source of strength for many. If you are a member of a spiritual or religious community, your faith leaders and congregation can serve as an important support system. Going to your place of worship, participating in prayer groups, or seeking counsel from your religious leaders are also ways to take care of yourself.
Change Your Environment
Leaving the house might be the last thing you want to do during profound grief. But experiencing new things can help you begin to create a life that feels more normal as you move through your grief.
Your world is likely filled with reminders of your loved one. Getting out of the house for a bit of exercise or visiting a new place for a change of scenery can help. Even if it feels uncomfortable, it can benefit your mental state to be in a different environment.
The natural beauty of the Cape or South Shore can bring solace. Meeting friends for coffee or lunch can also be helpful. When you’re ready, trying new things or taking up new hobbies can provide a foundation for feeling better with your new life.
Life Will Go On
Your life will never be the same without the person you love. But you will eventually feel like yourself again. Grief never goes away completely. But by taking care of yourself, it can eventually evolve into something you can live with and be content again.
Life changes in ways we can’t control, no matter how much we wish we could. But your love and the memories you shared will stay with you forever. And we will always be here to help the families of Cape Cod in their greatest times of need.