When we lose someone we love, we ask God why it happened. Sometimes, we get the answer we seek. Other times, we have to wait. But regardless of closure, grief hurts, and it hits hard. Here are some ways you can take care of yourself while you heal the emotional wounds of loss.
Eat foods with real value.
We all have to eat, but the food we put into our body plays more of a role in our health than many of us realize. For example, eating whole foods, like carrots, beans, avocados, beets, and bananas, can actually help ward off depression. Avoid empty calories, which are those found in boxed foods and anything you get from a drive-through.
Learn to handle money.
If you’ve recently lost a spouse or partner, money might be a looming issue. If you’ve never handled money before, this could be a significant source of stress. Mighty Widow acknowledges that the family budget changes when there’s only one income; site author Maryalene LaPonsie suggests establishing a budget, which starts with knowing your income.
Creating a budget is one thing, but you also need to look at ways to make it work, particularly if you don’t have life insurance money to support yourself and your family. One way to do this is to refinance your home; this allows you to access cash from equity for emergency expenses or to reduce your monthly payments. You can also take a look at where you’re spending unnecessarily. Cable service and gym memberships are common culprits.
Go outside more.
When you’re in the middle of grief, it’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts. Often, we do this at home surrounded by our loved one’s belongings. But when you are ready to heal, look no further than your own backyard. God has created an abundant and unlimited natural resource that can help you feel closer to Him and to those you have lost.
Outdoor adventure company OARS further asserts that being outside can improve your mental health. When you are one with nature, your brain produces less cortisol, and you get a mood-boosting dose of vitamin D. Combined with the benefits of fresh air, time in the sunshine is an unquestionable healer of all things.
Stop doing it all.
When you are thrust into the middle of grief, you may react in one of two ways. The first is to shut yourself off from the world and reject human contact. The second is to jump into as much activity as possible. This can leave you wearing thin and feeling guilty about saying no to any social contacts. But you do not have to do it all, and it is perfectly okay to pick and choose when to say yes and when to say no.
Prioritize your health.
Although it sounds like a no-brainer, we often forget to simply pay attention to ourselves. And when we do this, our health takes a toll, which begins a cycle of physical and emotional distress that will only exacerbate your inner turmoil. Prioritize yourself by doing things like getting enough sleep and learning how to relax. If you have trouble in either of those areas, don’t be afraid to look to natural remedies, like melatonin and meditation, to help you settle your mind and body.
Prayer can help you navigate grief and loss and remind you that there is a higher power with a purpose. Do not wait until all hope is lost to speak to God. Remember that he will listen, and, although you may not see it now, he will send an answer to your questions so that you can understand his plan.
Grief is not an easy emotion to manage. But through self-care, you can build for yourself a foundation upon which to heal. And although things might feel hopeless now, tomorrow is a new day, and taking care of yourself will give you the courage to face it.
Author Lucille Rosetti │The Bereaved