by Stephanie James | It is very important to get plenty of rest while grieving, but don’t allow your body to become stagnant. Exercising even for just thirty minutes a day will energize you and help you maintain emotional balance. This is also something that you can designate for your alone time or make it a social activity by finding an exercise buddy or going to a class at a local gym.
Whether you’re experiencing grief yourself or you are a loved one of someone who is; going through the bereavement process is a difficult experience. Coping with grief can often be a very personal challenge, and each person deals with it in their own way. Below we’ve compiled some natural approaches that may help you or a loved one move through the grieving process in a healthy way.
Other than practicing basic self-care, reaching out for support is the best thing you can do for yourself when grieving. Feelings of sadness are common symptoms when you experience grief and loss, however, if you find yourself unable to perform everyday tasks, having trouble staying awake, or experiencing dark moods after a few weeks, you may need to seek the help of a counselor or a therapist to help you work through some of your emotions. However, if you already have a solid support system, such as your church, friends and/or family, do not hesitate to reach out to those that can make sure you don’t have to deal with your grief alone.
Many herbs have shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression. If you are struggling with feelings of sadness, depression, or having trouble sleeping at night, try turning to herbal remedies to help calm your body and mind. Essential oils, or calming tea like chamomile, are great for relaxation — which your body may crave. Herbal supplements such as Valerian Root or St. John’s wort may also help lowers symptoms of depression, and boost your mood.
Eat Nourishing Food
Individuals grieving may have a lot on their plates (not literally). From making decisions, to coping with their emotions, your own health may be the last thing on your mind. However, this will prolong your recovery, make you weak, and even lower your immune system and consequently making you sick. To avoid adding more stress to your daily routine, it may be helpful to outline a healthy eating schedule and have daily, nutritious meal plans, that way you can hold yourself accountable to having proper meals throughout the day. Pre-made meals with low sugar and sodium that you can throw in the freezer, and disposable plates/utensils will be helpful to avoid meal prep and clean up at this time. Don’t be shy to let your support group at church know any meals they can bring/provide will be very much appreciated.
Schedule Time for Your Hobby
If you have a hobby, remember to take time to enjoy it. Don’t forget that live goes on. If you don’t have one, now is a good time to find activities that you enjoy in your leisure time. Nurturing activities, such as gardening, writing, or needlepoint, can put you in a meditative state and elevate your mood. You can engage in these activities in your alone time, as well as find groups with the same interests to give you some needed social time.
Make Quality Sleep A Priority
It’s often difficult to fall asleep when grieving as your mind wonders and days run into nights. However, getting quality sleep during the grieving process is very important for several reasons. Sleep affects your mental health, as well as your energy level. It is during sleep that your brain processes emotions, so you’ll not only feel invigorated physically, but good sleep will help you move through the stages of grief more smoothly. To help you relax at night, try creating a bedtime routine with a warm bath, essential oils, or reading a book. This might prompt your body to unwind a little bit and relax, allowing you to rest.
It is very important to get plenty of rest while grieving, but don’t allow your body to become stagnant. Exercising even for just thirty minutes a day will energize you and help you maintain emotional balance. This is also something that you can designate for your alone time or make it a social activity by finding an exercise buddy or going to a class at a local gym.
Remember that your lost loved one would not want you to stop enjoying life in their absence. Prioritize taking care of yourself and engaging in things that you truly enjoy. Sometimes, you’ll just have to lean into negative emotions for a bit to get through them, but don’t sit in them for too long. Be good to yourself by being proactive about moving through the grieving process and remember getting back to work or your normal daily routing when you’re ready and seeking additional help as needed should help!