5 Healthy Means Of Coping With Bereavement

Photo by Jonathan Borba

Going through bereavement is hard, and for some, that understates it quite significantly. You won’t need any guiding post to go into the how, why, and what of your experience and how it can affect you; you already know. If you’re going through this process, just know that we absolutely sympathize and extend our most sincere warm wishes and support.

When experiencing something as life-changing as bereavement, it can be hard to know where to turn. You might slowly begin the work of settling back into your current routine and managing your day-to-day experience, but that will take time. Managing trauma is still possible, however, and it’s still possible for your best days to be ahead of you with a little work.

In this post, we’ll discuss five healthy coping methods for bereavement, what to do next, and some lifestyle adjustments you can make to feel healthier and more composed. Without further ado, please consider:

#1. Seeking Professional Counseling Or Therapy

Always make certain to find the professional support you need first. It might seem as though shouldering this burden and remaining strong for your other loved ones is the first step, but pushing away feelings never helps anyone because sooner or later they come out. That’s not to say you need to rush to process things, often, this is more of a slow approach that takes time.

However, having that guidance can help. If your employer offers bereavement support, make sure to use it. Contact your health service or doctor if you’ve been struggling with the physical effects of trauma. Develop an approach to self-care and well-being such as deep breathing, meditation, and time in nature. This should all revolve around a focus on personal well-being, however, so don’t ignore that vital need.

#2. Find A Pet Companion

If you’ve been feeling down, lonely, and without companionship, spending more time with friends and relatives can be healthy if you’re lucky enough to have them. Not everyone has a wide support network, however, and in these circumstances, you may find real love in a pet that nurtures you as you nurture them.

A wonderful dog breed, a calm but goofy cat, even a rabbit you love taking care of, it doesn’t matter what you opt for, but finding a little friend, you can take care of, providing a loving home for, and spending time investing in can be a nice means of taking your mind off your recent past and bathing in that kind of companionship you may be missing. Even just walking with your dog or training them can be great. Remember, pets can also introduce you to new people such as with a dog walker’s club, which is the perfect excuse to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people at a time when isolation leads to rumination.

#3. Expressing Emotions Through Creative Outlets

Emotions come and go but can remain relatively stagnant if we don’t process them correctly. Bereavement is unique in that the overwhelming sense of loss, worry about the future, and difficulty returning to daily life can cause you to become quite jumbled up from a mental perspective.

Expressing emotions through creative outlets isn’t just about throwing paint at a canvas like you might imagine, but processing your emotions into a tangible craft outside your mind. This might sound like a good and soothing means of expressing yourself, and it is, but it also organizes your emotions and helps you process them more easily. Painting watercolors, writing, even jotting down thoughts in your diary—it all counts. Sometimes, you might just dance or pick up your guitar again.

Art isn’t disconnected from emotions, emotions are the reason art exists in the first place. You get to decide how you express yourself; sometimes that can be truly, deeply cathartic. Don’t worry if you’re relatively unskilled, you don’t have to be Da Vinci to rightfully express the hardship you’ve been through and to feel better because of that process.

#4. Maintaining Healthy Sleep Patterns & Nutrition

When you’re undergoing a heavy emotional burden, taking care of your physical needs is important. Think of yourself as nursing something of an illness at the moment, except it’s spiritual more than physical, although the latter can absolutely be affected.

Try and get a healthy sleep routine in place, and eat well each day, providing all the supplements you need, like a multivitamin, vitamin D, and magnesium on top of that (speak to your doctor before making any direct changes to your diet or intake).

This can help you process emotions more readily and help you feel more alert and healthy. There may be days you want to spend in bed, and that’s fine; just make sure to try and keep a somewhat healthy routine when you can and be gentle with yourself. Take it one day at a time, and invest in your bed a little by enjoying a scented candle, a comfortable cushion, calm ambient music, ear plugs if you need them, or comforting bedsheets. This will help you feel restored and nurtured in your home environment and relax when needed.

#5. Volunteering Or Helping Others

When we lose someone dear to us, it’s hard to feel so positive and interested in the world we’re part of. Life without that person can seem insurmountable. That’s why investing your time in helpful causes, volunteering with local groups, or connecting on a grander level can be so helpful. It allows you to get out of your rumination and make a real difference with people who care. You’d be amazed at how that kind of environment can help anyone feel nurtured and cared for, even if you just pick up litter in the local park with a charity group once a month.

With this advice, we hope you can begin the journey of healing and finding happiness in your daily life. Getting there might take some time, but we’re certain your future will be radiant with a little self-care. We wish you all the warmth as you move forward.

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