Grief is the
automatic, natural and universal reaction we experience when we are
faced with a loss. Grief is a process that affects us physically,
emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Grief ‘takes as long as
it takes’ and each person will grieve differently (even family members
facing the same loss). Here are a few ideas that might help if you are
■ Take one
day at a time. Be kind to yourself and try to do at least one
activity each day that you enjoy (go for a walk, have a bubble bath,
read a favorite book, work on a craft…)
■ While you
may not feel like eating much of anything, eating smaller meals or
some nutritious snacks should help you feel better and have more energy.
6–8 glasses of water a day.
alcohol and reduce your caffeine (coffee, cola, etc) intake. Alcohol
is a depressant; caffeine will dehydrate you.
Exercise. Exercising regularly will help to boost your body’s
natural anti-depressants. Aim to exercise for at least 20 minutes 4–5
times each week. Some ideas to try: go for a brisk walk; swim at your
local pool; join a low-impact aerobics class…
■ Start a
journal. Write about your feelings, what you are doing to take care
of yourself, favorite memories you have of the person or animal who has
about your feelings. If you do not have a supportive person you can
confide in, or, you are not receiving the support you need, consider
speaking with a counsellor.
Understand that your feelings are normal. It is normal to feel sad,
angry, guilty, or forgetful, among many other emotions.
■ Some people
may find that grief can seem overwhelming. Instead of trying to avoid
thinking about your loss, it sometimes helps to set a specific amount
of time to grieve each day (maybe 20 minutes?). Find a quiet place
that you will not be disturbed and use the time to go through photos,
mementoes and memories. Give yourself permission to feel. Make a big
effort to do or think about something else when your 20 minutes (or so)
■ If you are
having trouble sleeping, keep in mind that all of the ideas on this
sheet may help you sleep better.
**This information was adapted from resource material provided by the
Langley Hospice Society
Daybreak Counselling Services: