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Self-care Tips for Those Who Are Grieving Coping with losing someone or something you hold dear is one of the hardest challenges in life. The pain is often crushing. You may go through all kinds of complicated and unexpected emotions, ranging from shock to very deep sadness. The experience can also affect your physical health, making it hard to sleep, eat, or even think right. Of course, these are all normal reactions. But though there are no right or wrong ways to grieve, there is an approach that helps make everything easier. Self-care
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Your grief is just one more reason to take care of yourself. The stress brought on by this experience can readily use up your emotional and physical strength. That’s why looking after your physical and emotional needs is important as you go through this challenging time.
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Acceptance You can try to stifle your grief, but not forever. Confronting your pain is critical to healing. If you shun feelings of loss and sadness, you only make yourself grieve longer. Unresolved grief can also give rise to complications, from depression to substance abuse to physical illness. Tangible or Creative Expression Processing your grief becomes easier when you express it in some tangible or creative way. For example, write about the experience in a journal. If you lost a loved one, write a letter saying all that you wanted to say but never got to; create a scrapbook or photo album of the person’s life; or join a cause or organization that your loved one was part of. Physical Health Take note that the mind and body are connected. If you are physically healthy, it will be easier to regain emotional health. You can fight stress and fatigue by sleeping, eating and exercising right. Skip alcohol or drugs which only numb your pain or lift your mood temporarily. Hobbies and Interests There’s comfort in going back to your old routine, doing all the things you used to do and enjoying them again. Connecting with other people always works to lessen the pain. However, don’t let anyone, including yourself, force you into feeling this or that. Your grief is an independent process, and no one can dictate when the right time is for moving on or letting go. Don’t be scared of being embarrassed or judged by own feelings. Let yourself cry or not cry, be mad, or even laugh or smile at those small moments of joy. Preparation While resolving your grief and pain, be ready for anniversaries, holidays and other events that can trigger a return of feelings and memories. Most importantly, remember that this is completely normal. Again, accept the pain and deal with it, but not without expressing it.