Unfortunately, after losing a loved one, life’s daily responsibilities don’t stop. We have jobs, daily chores, and other people to care for. On top of that, we’re grieving an unimaginable loss.
During this time, it can be easy to lose track of taking care of ourselves. But without a healthy emotional outlet to grieve, we run the risk of complicating our grief.
Below we’ve compiled a list of self-care strategies to make sure you take the time you need to help yourself heal.
- Take a walk, preferably in nature. A nice walk in the woods, at a park, or even around the neighborhood is proven to do you some good. According to studies, a simple stroll can lead to a decrease in depression, improved mental health, and lower daily stress.
- If you’re not up for a walk, take a nap. The National Sleep Foundation found that even a short 20-minute nap improves our mood.
- Make a trip to the spa or plan a DIY spa day at home.
- Plan to eat healthier. Not only does healthy food make us feel better, but cooking is another healthy habit to relieve stress.
- Take the time to stretch throughout the day. Simple stretching increases blood flow and improves our mood. Here are 12 tips to daily stretching that you can do at work.
- Join a community sports league.
- Sign up for a yoga class. Check out our guide on how yoga can help us cope with grief.
- Practice breathing exercises.
- Visit an anger room.
- Sign up for a marathon or triathlon.
- Join a grief dance therapy class.
- Smile more. Studies found that a simple smile is all it takes to improve one’s mood.
- Pick up a good book. Reading is another stress-relieving activity. Some studies even found that reading a book can reduce stress and anxiety levels by more than two-thirds.
- Plan a night out with friends and family. Or invite them over for a nice homecooked meal and some quality time together.
- Strive for better work-life balance.
- Look through old photographs.
- Keep a griever’s journal.
- Designate a quiet place at work, home, or somewhere else where you can go and quietly reflect.
- Have a movie marathon.
- Plan a vacation to somewhere new.
- Cross something off your bucket list. Or if you don’t have one, create a bucket list.
- Find a new hobby. Take this hobby quiz to see what new hobby might be best for you.
- Adopt a pet. An animal companion is a proven stress reducer and mood booster.
- Join a local support group.
- Visit your loved one at their memorial or gravesite.
- Sign up for an art therapy class.
- Create a personal soundtrack. Many counselors recommend music for its stress relieving power.
- Cry. There’s a reason we cry when we feel sad. It’s a perfectly natural way to reduce stress instantly.
- Find local volunteer opportunities.
- Have a spring cleaning day and donate old items to local charities.
- Head to your preferred place of worship and spend quiet time in prayer or reflection.
- Set up a time to visit with your preferred religious leader to have a private conversation.
- Practice daily gratitude.
- Learn to be more patient with daily life.
- Practice kindness and empathy. Both help release feel-good hormones and ease daily anxiety.
- Learn to forgive — it’s not only good for spiritual health, it helps improve emotional and physical health, too.
- Practice daily mediations. Here’s a list of free mindful mediations.
- Plan your own spiritual journey.
- Practice positive thinking.
What are your strategies for self-care when dealing with loss? Share with us in the comments below!