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Self-Care Strategies That Can Facilitate the Grieving Process

Updated: May 16, 2022

Loss can come in many different forms. Whether you've lost a loved one, experienced the pain of divorce, or had to say goodbye to a dear pet, the feelings of sadness and loneliness can be overwhelming. It may be difficult to believe that you will ever feel normal again, but with self-care, you will make it through this challenging season. While healing takes time and requires patience, the Center for Suicide Awareness shares these strategies to nurture your well-being and facilitate the grieving process.

Give Yourself Time

Everyone deals with grief differently. While some people appear to bounce back quickly after a loss, they may be suffering more than you know. Avoid comparing yourself to others, and instead, give yourself as much time to grieve as you need. If you become impatient and try to rush the process, you may create long-term issues that are difficult to overcome.

Avoid Isolation

Research shows that social interaction boosts both physical and mental health. If you are grieving, this need for human contact is even more critical. Unfortunately, many people experiencing loss choose to be alone. Using work as a distraction is also common, but ignoring your grief won't make it disappear.

If you work from home, your feelings of loss and loneliness may be further intensified by the daily isolation. To combat this, make a point of staying connected with coworkers during the workday. Also, avoid letting work usurp other areas of your life. When the workday ends, make a deliberate choice to connect socially with family and friends who know you well and can provide support. Many people also find it helpful to join an in-person or online support group that focuses on loss or grief. By talking about your feelings with others who have had similar experiences, you feel understood, and ultimately, less alone in your grief.

Embrace Nature

Research shows that connecting with nature boosts mental health in several ways. If you are suffering from a loss, nature can help you grieve by reducing your stress and giving you the time and space to process what you are going through. So, take outside breaks during the day by taking a stroll, sitting on your deck, or visiting a nearby park.

Meet Your Health Needs

Neglecting your sleep, diet, or exercise needs can make an already difficult situation even worse. To feel your best, be proactive about taking good care of yourself:

  • Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night

  • Fuel your body and brain with healthy options, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins

  • Prioritize physical activity by exercising regularly and incorporating extra movement into your daily life

Use Essential Oils

The use of specific essential oils can induce feelings that may aid in your recovery. If you are grieving, try diffusing a few drops of lavender to relieve stress or peppermint to feel more energized and alive.

Take Time to Meditate

Meditation uses mindfulness techniques and breath control to help you direct your thoughts and emotions in a more positive direction. These skills can be beneficial during the grieving process. If you aren't sure how to begin, use an online guided meditation to help you get started. Remember to keep your meditation space clean, as the anxiety clutter causes can easily undo all of your hard work.

The grieving process can be one of the most challenging experiences in life. However, by treating yourself with kindness and patience, giving yourself the space and time you need to recover, and utilizing effective strategies to facilitate healing, you will make it through and find your way back.

The Center for Suicide Awareness provides compassionate, accessible, barrier-free support to people across the United States. Get in touch with us by clicking here.


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