When a significant other dies your world is turned upside down. Dealing with day to day life can be overwhelming. It can take a lot of time and energy to manage the logistical details of your loved one’s estate at a time when you are experiencing your own grief and having to respond to others who are also grieving the death of your loved one. With a myriad of tasks to be done and so many emotions being experienced, it may be hard to focus on, or even know, what you need. Grief can be exhausting; if you can find ways to practice self-care in the midst of all you are experiencing, it can help restore energy and focus. Here are some tips from Bo’s Place about coping strategies that have been helpful to the bereaved as they navigated their grief journey.
- If possible, try not to make any big changes in the first year after the death. Typically, people don’t think straight when emotions are high and they often end up regretting these decisions later.
- Acknowledge your emotions as they appear – don’t try to hide them or numb the pain they may bring.
- Take care of your physical health. Sleep deprivation and not exercising can make grief even more difficult. Grief can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Don’t add any additional stress by neglecting yourself.
- With the help of family and friends, find ways to honor your loved one so you will be less likely to be caught off guard by inevitable grief triggers, like birthdays and holidays.
- Write things down. With all of the new emotions you are experiencing, you mind find that you are becoming more forgetful.
- Keep a journal. Writing about your loss, or even writing a letter to the deceased person, is a great way to acknowledge your emotions and stay connected.
- Find a ritual for yourself that you can find comfort in on days that may seem especially difficult.
- Memorialize one of your significant other’s belongings or something that reminds you of them so that you can always keep a part of them close to you.
- Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself, but don’t try to put a timeline on your grief. Remember: everybody grieves differently!