Self-care is never more important than when you are facing the raw pain of bereavement and yet we often give little thought to our own well being because we are busy with day-to-day practicalities and often supporting others around us who are also grieving.
Ironically, this is exactly why we should invest a little time and energy into self care. After all, the person we have said goodbye to would not want us to become ill or unable to function because of them and we are least able to help those near and dear to us if we are not mentally and physically in a fit state ourselves.
Being aware of the signs
One of the first things that can suffer is our sleeping pattern. Many people find it’s either hard to get to sleep, or they can feel sleepy all the time. It is important to try to maintain your body’s rhythms, not least because grieving is an exhausting process and a long-term lack of sleep can have a detrimental affect on your mental health.
Change in appetites
A number of people experience changes in appetite too. Some just don’t want to eat, while others feel hungry all the time. Making self-care a priority could include making sure you have healthy food in the home. Choose meals that are quick and easy to prepare so that you don’t have to spend time and energy on food when you have other things on your mind. Try to eat at least one healthy meal a day and, if you are struggling with a lack of appetite, just try to eat a little of something.
"Self-care sometimes means you have to set boundaries".
Self care sometimes means you have to set boundaries. If you are the sort of person others always turn to, other family members may demand more emotional support than you are able to give at this time.
If you are responsible for children you may need help to assist them with their emotional needs and this may be available through school or family friends. Make sure you schedule some breaks from parenting to give yourself some breathing space to feel how you are feeling.
Help through your faith or higher power
If you have a faith, can you turn to your faith community for help? The death of a loved one can often cause us to question our faith just when we need it most. Rather than turning away from it, why not talk any doubts through with your spiritual leader. You may find your faith deepens after a period of reflection and feeling the support of those around you beyond the immediate family can be extremely comforting.
Treasured time and space
From time to time a loss will bring up such emotion that we feel unable to address how we are feeling within our family unit or social circle. At times like this we may seek professional help from a trained counsellor or specific organisation experienced in dealing with bereavement.
Just having the time and space to express the pain that you are experiencing, in a safe and confidential environment, can be immensely healing and can enable you to see a more positive future for yourself.
Personal Touch Funeral Planning, here to help you