One of the most important things you can do when you are experiencing grief is to take care of yourself. Nurturing yourself allows your healing to truly begin. Here are some things you can do to make life a little easier when the going gets rough.
1. Make sure you get plenty of rest.
2. Eat nourishing food, not only so you can have the stamina you need, but so your body can have the energy it needs to process the stress you are experiencing.
3. Get some exercise, even if that only means going for a walk. Exercise gets those spirit-lifting endorphins going and makes the day easier.
4. Following a routine brings a sense of stability to your days when your boat is rocking.
5. Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Ask yourself ~ What simple things can I do to nurture my body? My spirit? My mind? Then do at least one of them every day.
6. Keep your life as simple as possible so there is room not only to nurture yourself but also to work through what is going on inside.
7. Pace yourself. Try not to get caught up in “shoulds” and “oughts.”
8. Listen to your body and trust its wisdom! The body never lies! Its signals are either comfort or discomfort. Always try to move toward comfort.
9. It’s not only all right to cry, it’s necessary, so let the tears come when they want to.
10. Share your feelings with others.
11. Just go with the flow as best you can, and know that every day is exactly as it should be.
12. Grief has no time table, so give yourself the time you need to work through your loss.
13. Do what you need to do to get through special days, like birthdays and holidays.
14. You may have to give yourself permission to be happy. It probably won’t be the same “happy” as what you knew before, but it will be a place to begin.
15. Find something to be grateful for every day. Think about what you did not lose. You might even want to begin a gratitude journal and write in it at the end of each day.
16. Trust that all things come bearing a gift. Yes, even the most difficult things, so watch for that gift. It is there. I promise.
17. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Is the same old thing running through your mind? Has a way of thinking become a habit? What can you do to change it if it isn’t going to take you where you want to go? Make conscious choices in how you think and how you feel as much as you can.
18. We always have a choice in how we respond. Try being aware of how you meet life. Begin living your life consciously. Be a conscious choice maker! You can do this!
19. Even though you may not feel like laughing right now, give yourself permission to laugh whenever you can. Find a way to start and end the day with laughter. Fake it if you have to. Read something funny ~ often. See if you can laugh at the things that tend to stress you. If you can, find a laughter group. Laughter heals at every level.
20. Reaching out to help others takes your focus off yourself. You’ll know when you’re ready to do this.
21. Oftentimes we find ourselves wrestling with guilt – what we did or didn’t do or say. Don’t punish yourself! God loves and accepts you just the way you are. In fact, you are loved so completely, there is nothing left to forgive! See if you can love and accept yourself like that, too.
22. Make time to feed your spirit with inspirational material. Reading something inspirational is a lovely way to begin and end the day.
23. Listen to beautiful music. Music takes you where the mind cannot go.
24. Find your spiritual anchor. For me, that anchor was meditation. Meditation is like a rudder that brings balance to your ship and helps you ride the waves of life more easily. If this practice calls to you, make a commitment to learn how and practice it daily.
25. Working through loss is heavy duty stuff, so be compassionate with yourself and know that you’re doing the very best you can at any given moment.
26. You are not lost! There is an Infinite Wisdom that is always guiding you. Trust in that Wisdom. It knows the way.
How you work through grief will be unique to you, and that is as it should be. The key is to make time for yourself, so you can work through what you need to work through, so you can heal! At this particular juncture in your life, what could be more important than that?
Copyright Donna Miesbach
Updated: April 22, 2013