(Guest post from Camille Johnson of Bereaver.com)
We all know what glory awaits us after death. However, although we are assured that our loved ones are basking in the light of heaven, grief remains here on Earth. We must find ways to overcome this emotional turmoil and set healthy living goals for ourselves. That starts by cherishing those left behind, including ourselves, even when we are sad. Here are a few tips on how to care for your mind, body, and soul through the suffering.
Even though we mourn the loss of a relationship with someone near and dear, we must remember to continue to build, nurture, and grow the relationships we have with people left behind. This might not always be easy, but there are things that you can do to keep yourself out of the danger zone of isolation. These include:
● Take an exercise class. Exercise is not only good for the body, but it’s also a great way to be around others. Robyn Hurst continues to offer private paddleboarding and yoga lessons, which you might schedule with a friend so that you can work on your healthy goals together.
● Spend your “you” time away from work. Isolation is a serious issue, especially as many of us are working from home. Coupled with grief, too much time alone can lead us to overworking and burning out. Make a point to see people every day (yes, even if you are naturally introverted), and to log out of work on time so that you can devote your free time to pursuing your personal passions.
● Call somebody. When you’re feeling low, talking with a friend or family member can lower your stress levels. UK-based mental health charity Ditch The Label also explains that this is a great way to feel closer to someone while helping you regain perspective in your life.
Self-care comes in many forms, and we often lose sight of its importance as we regain our footing after a loss, especially a sudden loss. The following bits of advice can help you ease your way back into caring for yourself:
● Get enough sleep. Establishing and retaining healthy sleep patterns while in the throes of grief is difficult at best. But, small steps, such as sleeping on the right type of mattress, sheets, and pillow style, go a long way toward helping us get our needed hours of rest.
● Prioritize healthy eating. Appetite loss is common in the days and months after a dramatic experience, including the death of a loved one. But, although you likely do not feel as if you have the energy to get up and cook every day, you must fuel your body. The Daily Burn blog offers lots of information on how to prepare food ahead of time so that you do not have to expend your energy each day on cooking and packing lunches.
● Get a hobby. According to Oregon Counseling, hobbies have many mental health benefits. These include helping us sleep better and maintaining our social connections. If you don’t already know what you love to do in your off time, it’s time to try a few new things. This might be cycling, painting, hiking, building model cars… Try out a few different hobbies until you find something that puts you in a calm mental space.
It’s difficult when someone we love leaves us behind, but we must remember that death is not the end. We will see those we love once again, but our time here is not through. Until our time comes, we must honor ourselves and the vessels upon which God gave us. Taking care of your social and self-care needs are a good start that can help you accept and move past your loss.
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courtesty of Camille Johnson, Bereaver.com