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Taking Care of Yourself in Grief Coping with losing someone or something you hold dear is one of the hardest challenges in life. In most cases, the pain can be devastating. 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 a struggle to eat, sleep or even think correctly. Of course, these are all normal reactions. But while there are no right or wrong ways to cope with grief, there is an approach that can help ease you into the entire process. Self-care
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Grieving gives you all the more reason to take care of yourself. This can of experience can easily deplete your physical and emotional energy stores. 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. Acknowledging your pain is important 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 instance, write about it in your journal. If you just lost a loved one, write a letter with everything you wanted to say but never had a chance to; make a scrapbook or photo album in celebration of the person’s life; or join an organization or advocacy that was important to him. Physical Health Remember that your mind is connected to your body. 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. Avoid alcohol and drugs, which tend to numb your or lift your mood superficially. 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 a being on its own, and no one can tell you when you need to move on or let go. Don’t be afraid to be judged or embarrassed by whatever feelings you have. It’s okay to cry, not to cry, be angry or even to laugh and find little 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, recognize the pain and manage it, but not without expressing it, whether through words or action (such as praying).