Loss is unfortunately a part of life, and we will all go through it at some point in life. Whether it be the death of a family member, a close friend, a pet, a divorce, ending a long term relationship, the loss of a job, or breaking up with your best friend. All these situations can have effect on you – both positive or negative. When the effect is negative, it can lead to an increase in stress and when prolonged may have a flow on effect to your health.
However, no matter what the circumstances, loss can leave you with feelings that you may not have experienced before. The sadness from loss can leave you with some emotional challenges to work through. Adapting to these challenges and changes in your life will depend on many things including your emotional strength, health and wellbeing at that moment.
You may have heard the saying that time heals all wounds. Research has found this to be true. The period of time may vary between each person depending on their loss, but time does have a way of healing over time.
Here are ways to take care of yourself whether you are the grieved or are caring for someone who is grieving:
Talk it out
Talking is good, whether that be with close family, friends or a counsellor, they can listen and support you through the grief. A supportive ear is all you may need to let go of the stress of the situation so you can maintain your health and wellbeing.
Don’t try and ignore grief
While all you may feel like is locking yourself away, it will only increase your feeling of unhappiness. Try to accept this as a part of your life that you must go through to learn and grow. There is nothing wrong with crying. Crying is an essential part of releasing built up emotions.
Eat healthy, nutritious meals and exercise
Eating may be the last thing on your mind, and it may seem disrespectful, but keeping yourself well nourished, is the best way to stay strong. Keep, or start up, a regular exercise routine as a way to release built up stress.
Get enough rest
Sleeping patterns can become disjointed when you are stressed and grieving, yet it is important to ensure your mind and body gets enough rest to support you. If you continue to have difficulty sleeping, please consult your doctor who can help.
Keep your routine
It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but keeping a routine in your life is healthy whether that be getting up to go to work, exercising or keeping social engagements. Remember, life does go on and routine gives you a reason to keep connected with friends and support networks.
Above all, it is important to give it time and not force yourself to forget the loss immediately. No two losses are the same and there is no checklist on how to cope.
Loss is however, an opportunity to learn and grow and you will find you will emerge from this life changing experience stronger, understanding of yourself and what you can do, with more clarity and balanced.
To help you maintain your balance you can download my new Body Scan exercise to check in with how you are feeling and to allow your mind and body to relax so you can get that much needed rest.