Effective self-care for dealing with grief

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Health Assured team

24 November 2021

From the death of a loved one to the end of a relationship, loss is quite possibly one of the most challenging situations we will face in life. And with loss comes grief. Grief—at its most intense—can feel heavy, exhausting, and inescapable. But it can come in waves of ranging intensity and change over time, there’s no linear response. This can sometimes make grief even more confusing. Remember that everyone’s reaction to loss will be unique to them. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve.

The grieving process takes time. It might be a difficult journey, but with a daily dose of self-care, a helping of time and some love from the people around you —you’ll get there. You might even need to reach out to seek counselling support too, and this is okay.

In honour of Grief Awareness Week this December, we’re looking at effective ways you can practise self-care to relieve the pain of this difficult time.

Acceptance

Big, unexpected changes can cause a shock to the system. They can pull us from the known and plunge us into the unknown. With this comes a whirlwind of feelings that are difficult to process. When these emotional whirlwinds occur, acceptance can help. It takes a lot of energy to resist what’s happening in your experience. And this resistance can be exhausting. Acceptance can act as an antidote to this exhaustion.

It sounds counterintuitive, and it tends to be easier said than done. Yet tension eases when you bring acceptance to your current experience of the grieving process. It becomes less frightening and more manageable. Acceptance is difficult when we’ve lost something we love, and it isn’t always possible. But where it is, it acts as a lifeline in times of need.

Talk to others

The weight of grief can cause frustration, confusion, despair, heartache, emptiness, desperation, suffering and sometimes even physical pain. These emotions aren’t to be faced alone. Talking with others you trust can help you put the puzzle pieces together and reflect on your feelings.

Counselling can also provide this support if you're struggling to find it around you. The sessions offer an open, accepting space for you to explore your emotions. The other person doesn’t know you. You’re free to say anything you want, and this can help you name, claim and reframe your emotions.

Be kind to yourself

Under the shadow of grief, even just making it out of the door can be a struggle. It seems to shake the world and can make even the simplest of tasks difficult. When these pangs of grief hit, try to be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself as you work through this time. Some days will be harder than others, but that’s okay. Take care of yourself as much as you can. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and stay hydrated where possible. This will help you stay physically well, and it will improve your mental health too. Grief is a difficult process, but with time comes healing and hope.

If you need support with grief, Health Assured can help. Call us today on 0844 891 0356

 

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