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Taking Care of Yourself in Grief Losing someone or something very important is one of the most difficult challenges in life. In most cases, the pain can be devastating. You may go through all kinds of complicated and unexpected emotions, ranging from shock to very deep sadness. The experience can also affect your physical health, making it hard to sleep, eat, or even think right. These reactions are, of course, normal. But even as there are no right or wrong ways of grieving, there is an approach that makes the whole process easier. Self-care
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Your grief is just one more reason to take care of yourself. The stress of this experience can easily exhaust your physical and emotional strength. That’s why you need to look after your physical and emotional needs as you go through this difficult time.
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Acceptance You can try to repress your grief, but not for all time. Facing your pain is crucial to healing. If you avoid feelings of sadness and loss, you only extend the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also bring complications, such as anxiety, depression, drug abuse and illness. Tangible or Creative Expression Expressing your grief in some tangible or creative way helps in processing your grief. For instance, write about it in your journal. If you just lost a loved one, write a letter with everything you wanted to say but never had a chance to; make a scrapbook or photo album in celebration of the person’s life; or join an organization or advocacy that was important to him. Physical Health Take note that the mind and body are connected. When you are physically healthy, you will be able to process your emotions better. You can combat stress and fatigue by getting eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise. Skip alcohol or drugs which only numb your pain or lift your mood temporarily. Hobbies and Interests There’s comfort in doing all the things you used to do, especially activities that always gave you joy. The pain always lessens as you connect with other people again. However, don’t let anyone, including yourself, force you into feeling this or that. Your grief is a being on its own, and no one can tell you when you need to move on or let go. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel, without judgment or embarrassment. It’s okay to cry, not to cry, be angry or even to laugh and find little moments of joy. Preparation As you try to resolve your grief and pain, prepare for “triggers,” like anniversaries, holidays and other events that can cause memories and feelings to come flooding back. Most importantly, remember that this is completely normal. Again, accept the pain and deal with it, but not without expressing it.

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