Facing a traumatic situation like grief can impact your mental health negatively. According to health experts, mental health problems associated with grief can severely affect your general well-being, especially if you don’t care for yourself. If you are grieving, you must take the necessary steps to save yourself from succumbing to depression.
Here are a few steps you can take to keep your head up while grieving.
Spend time with your loved ones
Spending time with your loved ones is the best way to deal with grief. Being together gives you time to talk to each other, relax, and plan for the future. When alone, your mind will naturally wander to the cause of the grief, whether it’s a divorce, the death of a family member or friend, changes in relationships, or the loss of a job.
Get enough sleep
When grieving, inadequate sleep can worsen your condition. However, in the same breath, having a restful sleep can help you cope with the grief. So, no matter how busy you are or how many people have come to grieve with you, spare some time to sleep soundly.
Eat healthy foods
The symptoms of grief, such as anxiety and depression, can make you lose appetite. Grief also results in physical symptoms that make eating difficult. Your body will run short of essential minerals and vitamins due to these emotional and physical demands. To prevent this, you have to ensure you’re eating meals on a regular basis. What’s more, it’s important that you make meals that are part of your overall balanced diet.
Exercise may not eliminate grief, but it’s an essential coping tool for grief. This is because physical activityhelps reduce loneliness, stress, and depression. Exercise is also a good way of interacting with other people, which, in turn, will divert your attention from the cause of your grief. Be sure to visit Unbound Northwest for ideas on outdoor physical activities.
Spend time outdoors
Confining yourself in a room, apartment, or house isn’t good for your mental health when you’re grieving. Instead, it would help if you spent time outdoors, so your mind can wander as you observe the beauty of nature. Go to local parks, find nearby trails, or simply take a walk around the block — a little sunshine and fresh air and work wonders.
Write a Journal
Journaling and writing are excellent outlets to cope with grief. Journaling is as simple as writing a letter to your loved one who has departed. You can also write to put your thoughts in written form and then read them back to yourself. Get a notebook or journal, and dedicate it to documenting your thoughts and feelings.
Listen to music
Listening to music has many therapeutic effects. Research has shown that listening to music can fend off anxiety and depression, which will uplift your mood. There are different options you can choose from; for example, you can either go for sad songs to help you cry out or instrumentals that can allow your mind to wander. You can also play songs that the departed friend or loved one enjoyed while still alive.
Find ways to alleviate stress
When grieving, finding ways to alleviate stress can help you cope with this condition. The main tactic for relieving stress is to identify what triggers it. For instance, your stress could be triggered by seeing the departed family member’s clothes or going to places you used to visit together. Avoiding triggers is a good way of managing stress.
Other ways of managing stress include:
- Eating balanced diet
- Practicing deep breathing
- Reading inspiration books
Meditation relieves stress, depression, and grief. What’s more, it can help calm you both mentally and physically. If you have never meditated before, use apps such as Headspace or Calm for your meditation. You can also look for guided meditations on YouTube.
Adopt a pet
Curdling or playing with a cat or dog will release feel-good chemicals in your brain. If you have a pet already, you can start playing with it right away. If not, you can visit a pet shelter and find your new friend. However, make sure you’re ready for the commitment; getting a pet is a big deal, so make sure you can handle the responsibility.
Grief is something you may not have any control over, but you shouldn’t let it take a severe toll on your physical and mental health. Using the above tips, you can reduce your stress levels and live a near-normal lifestyle even after a significant loss.