Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging parts of life. You may be feeling such intense pain that it’s hard to complete your usual daily tasks. This period of grief and mourning is natural after losing a loved one. Some emotions you may be experiencing include:
Our firm has met hundreds of clients who’ve experienced the pain of losing a family member. Working with these clients has shown us that taking care of your mental health can be the most beneficial way to get through these tough times. You will always miss your loved one, but it will become easier to get through life as you take small steps to improve your mental health.
Acknowledge Your Pain
Though this may be challenging, the first step in caring for your mental health is to acknowledge the pain you’re feeling. By avoiding your emotions, you may be making it a little more difficult to get through your grief. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions associated with grief and recognize that they are a part of life. It may be hard to convince yourself of this, but you won’t feel this way forever. The more you remind yourself of that, the more you will start to believe it.
Another important part of improving your mental health is recognizing that you’re not alone. If you need someone to talk to, seek out the people who care about you, and lean on your friends and family. Though it may feel challenging to spend time with other people, being around friends has been found to improve mental health and reduce stress.
Support groups can also be beneficial as they allow you to communicate with people who understand the pain you’re feeling. This can help you feel less alone and provide opportunities to learn coping skills from others. It may also provide a clearer picture of what to expect on your journey while grieving.
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When dealing with painful emotions, it can be soothing to write down what you’re feeling in a journal. Journaling can be a positive way to manage mental health, especially while experiencing the overwhelming emotion of grief. It becomes easier to process what you’re feeling when you gather all of your thoughts in writing.
You may also want to express the impact this person had on your life. Expressing yourself through creativity, such as making a photo album or scrapbook of your loved one can help improve your overall mood and mental health.
Engage in Hobbies and Interests
It may be hard to engage in any of your previous hobbies or interests while you’re hurting, but this is one of the best ways to regain a sense of normalcy. To start, write out some of your favorite hobbies or the things that used to bring you joy. Then, choose one or two of them that you can complete in the upcoming week.
Take Care of Physical Health
When you neglect to take care of your physical health, it can greatly impact your wellbeing and mental health. Make sure that you’re eating well and getting plenty of sleep. If you find yourself depending on alcohol or medication to cope with your grief, be careful. These substances are habit-forming and may lead to addiction.
Exercise can be useful in gaining a positive mindset. Something as simple as taking a walk and getting fresh air can be extremely helpful for boosting your mood.
It’s also important to take time for relaxing each day. Participating in meditation may be very valuable since there are specific meditation techniques associated with grieving a loss.
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Seek Professional Help
If you’re having trouble taking care of your mental health alone, you can always reach out to a professional for help. Attending therapy can provide new outlets for coping with grief, and will allow you to talk about your feelings with someone on a regular basis.