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Guest post by Camille Johnson
After losing a loved one, many of us also lose the energy and motivation to continue life as normal. We may lose interest in the things that once brought us joy and happiness, and we may lack the energy to work, go to school, care for ourselves and loved ones, and get out of bed in the morning. For some, grief and loss can turn into depression, which affects our motivation and energy levels even further.
While lost motivation is to be expected when we’re experiencing grief, setting a few short- and- long-term goals can help us cope with the loss of a loved one and reconnect with life once again.
Here are five ideas from Camille to help you deal with grief and loss.
1. Surround Yourself With Loved Ones
Wanting to withdraw from others and keep to yourself is completely normal during times of grief, but spending time with family and friends is also important as you cope with a loss.
By surrounding yourself with those who loved and cared for the deceased, you can share stories with one another and keep your loved one’s memory alive — while spending time with friends can help to provide a sense of normalcy.
Joining a grief support group, taking a class, or volunteering in the community are some other ways to connect with others and meet new people as you navigate the loss of a loved one.
As a few ideas for volunteering, you could help at an animal shelter, senior living center, food shelf, or church.
2. Incorporate Physical Activity and Water-Rich Foods
Finding the motivation for physical activity isn’t easy when you’re grieving a loss and living with chronic pain, but gentle workouts can help to reduce pain, relieve stress, and alleviate symptoms of grief.
Whether it’s taking a short walk, practicing yoga, or preparing for a marathon, aim to move your body a little each day — and work your way up from there.
In addition to incorporating a bit of physical activity into each day, Malia Frey of Verywell Fit recommends limiting your intake of coffee and alcohol as you grieve, and increasing your protein and water consumption.
Crying — a common part of grief — can lead to dehydration and headaches, which means you’ll need to be extra diligent about hydrating with water and eating water-rich foods like watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, and lettuce.
Moreover, quality protein sources can help to boost our energy levels and strengthen our bodies during times of stress.
A few healthy options include beans, nuts, fish, poultry, and legumes.
3. Step Outside for Some Fresh Air and Vitamin D
The grieving process often leaves us holed up in our homes — sometimes with the blinds closed and lights off — but a little fresh air and sunlight go a long way when we’re dealing with loss.
Here are a few ways to reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of spending time outdoors:
- Step outside for a short walk around the block or a hike in nature.
- Sign up for an outdoor yoga class.
- Work in the yard for an afternoon (e.g. pulling weeds, gardening, raking leaves, or sweeping the deck or sidewalk).
- Eat lunch outdoors or visit a restaurant with outdoor seating.
- Take up fishing, kayaking, swimming, or camping.
If you’re affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), a light therapy box can also be helpful during times of loss.
You could take up a cold-weather activity such as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or sledding.
4. Try Meditation
Being alone with your thoughts seems scary when you’re already consumed by grief, but meditation can help with processing the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing — including those such as sadness, anger, confusion, and anxiety.
With time, meditation can also help with accepting the loss of your loved one.
Mindful shares a 12-minute meditation for loss, but some other places to find guided meditation practices include apps such as Headspace, InsightTimer, and Calm.
A five-minute meditation is a great starting point if you’re new to meditating, and you can always work your way up to 12, 15, or 30 minutes.
5. Embrace Change
As challenging as grief can be, it often reminds us of how fragile life is — and it can motivate us to make positive changes in our lives and live better for the loved one we’ve lost.
Maybe this means changing poor eating habits, living a more active lifestyle, or starting a new career.
For some, it could even mean going back to school or starting a business.
Though starting a business and going back to school are both huge undertakings — especially when you’re living with chronic pain and coping with the loss of a loved one.
Online tools and services make it easier to achieve your career goals from nearly anywhere.
AppSumo shares a list of nine business tools to help online entrepreneurs with everything from designing a website and logo to managing business finances.
Moreover, enrolling in an online degree program in fields such as information technology (IT), business management, or marketing can make it possible to get your graduate or undergraduate degree while juggling other responsibilities such as work and family.
Start by comparing college tuition rates, verifying each school’s accreditation status, and setting up a home office space for online learning.
The Importance of Goal Setting While Grieving
Setting healthy goals after losing a loved one can help you find the motivation to get back to life, but the goals you set should be attainable and beneficial to your overall health and well-being.
A few examples of these goals could include socializing with loved ones, exercising regularly, getting more fresh air, starting a meditation practice, and embarking on a new career path.
Recovering from grief takes time, and it’s important to remain patient with yourself as you process the loss of your loved one.
Be gentle with yourself, make time for self-care, and connect with those who love and support you.
Life is short, and losing a loved one is a good reminder to take care of yourself and live your life as fully as possible.
Your loved one wouldn’t want it any other way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Camille created The Bereaver.com after she went through the ups and downs of the bereavement process herself following the loss of her parents and husband. With the help of her friend, who was also experiencing a loss of her own, she learned how to grieve the healthy way, and she wants to share that with others.
There is no one way to grieve, but it is important to do it in a way that supports your physical and mental health throughout.
Website : https://bereaver.com/
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