By Camille Johnson of bereaver.com
Grief is a natural response to losing a person or thing that you loved or valued. It can impact every part of your being and life, including your emotions, mind, body, social life, and more. Typically, you will deal with intense sadness and distress, though many people also feel numb or disconnected.
No matter the source or intensity of your grief, it's essential not to ignore the process. By setting healthy goals, you can help yourself get through the challenges ahead and find hope again. Below, Vital-Side shares practical advice to get you started.
Expand Your Personal Network
Many people are tempted to isolate themselves while grieving. While it can be for several reasons, it's typically because they find it difficult to relate to others and communicate what they are going through. However, maintaining your most important relationships is critical to healthy grieving, and it can even help you meet new people or reconnect with old friends.
One way to expand your network is to use websites for finding friends from your past. For example, if there is someone from high school you've lost touch with, you can try finding them on Facebook or another social network.
If that doesn't work, consider using a search engine developed specifically for reconnecting with old friends. For instance, you can search for your high school classmates from Austin, TX, and the surrounding area by simply putting in their name and graduation date.
Head to the Great Outdoors
Vitamin D is not only essential for overall health, but it can also boost mood and yield many other mental health benefits. If you want extra benefits, go for a run, walk, or cycle outside so that you can stay physically active.
Think of any activities you can do outside, and be intentional about carving out time to spend outdoors. You might even plan a weekend outing for hiking, camping, rafting, or another type of outdoor experience.
Write in a Journal
If you find it challenging to speak to other people about your grief right now, writing in a journal is one way to express your thoughts and emotions. There are many mental health benefits to keeping a journal, and you can write about anything you wish.
No one ever has to read it if you want to keep it private. Commit to writing for at least 15 minutes a day, and you might be surprised by how it helps you cope.
Focus Your Nutrition
You may be wanting nothing but comfort food at the moment, but try to hone in your nutrition. Eating whole foods will provide you with more energy while helping you maintain your long-term health, which can go a long way in helping you cope. Even if it is replacing one meal a day with a salad or other healthier alternative, be mindful and consistent of your diet during this difficult time.
Getting quality sleep is not easy for many people who are grieving. Try to create a bedtime routine and turn your bedroom into a peaceful atmosphere that promotes sleep. Many relaxing activities can help your mind and body prepare for sleep, such as reading, meditation, and long baths. Find something that works for you, and try to do it each evening.
Allow Yourself to Feel Other Emotions
Finally, it's critical to understand that grief comes with many other emotions than sadness, and it's okay if you feel them. There is no shame in having joyful moments while grieving, nor is it wrong to feel disappointed or angry towards the person you have lost.
And if you struggle with anxious thoughts or fear about the future, recognize that it is something you can work through. Don't expect your experience to be like those of others. Everyone grieves differently; the important thing is that you figure out coping techniques that work for you.
Nothing is more complicated than grief. And no matter where your distress is coming from, it's essential to process it in healthy ways. Implementing the tips above can help you begin to move through the grieving process healthfully. But reach out to mental health professionals who can provide you with expert advice and coping techniques specific to your unique situation.
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