Remembering to look after yourself following a Loss

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be a difficult, long and painful process. It can be confusing and it may not always be the grief journey you were expecting to follow. Waves of grief may come and go over many years but it will be at it’s most painful in the beginning. These feelings tend to become less intense over time and you may begin to learn to accept and live with them.

Trying to cope with a loss can be so overwhelming and it can be very easy to forget about your own mental and physical wellbeing. It is important to give yourself space and opportunity to grieve whilst being mindful not to isolate yourself for a prolonged period, particularly in these current times of lockdowns and restrictions on contact.

Perhaps you can take some time to call a family member or a friend even if only to while away half an hour on trivia. It can also help to talk about how you are feeling either with a trusted friend, family member, a trained counsellor or even us here at W J Wrights.

Try to do some gentle exercise, getting out for a walk once a day perhaps, connecting with the physical world and with nature can be greatly beneficial. Sometimes, particularly if you are feeling lonely, it can be good to see other people out and about, even if you’re not ready to engage with them. Looking after your physical health getting enough sleep and eating properly can help you deal with the different emotions you are feeling.

Ensure that you are eating nutritionally balanced meals at regular mealtimes, eating well is perhaps one thing you can have control over to help yourself.

Be aware of your physical self. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed you may feel your heart beating faster, if you are angry you may clench your teeth. This can be a physical barometer to help you to recognise your own emotions and when you notice these symptoms give yourself some time to acknowledge how you are reacting and try to re-centre yourself.

Be aware of your emotional self, sometimes the loss of a loved one may lead you to feel a loss of identity, you may feel that you have been defined by the person you have lost, as a parent, a spouse, a care provider or friend. When they’re gone, your sense of purpose and direction may be less clear and that’s completely natural. and can be quite healing on this journey. Take the time to discover what you enjoy, what makes you happy and who you are as a person – this can pave the way to your healing.

Remember to be kind to yourself and to give yourself time.

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