What might help if you are grieving


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 grieving:

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.

Drink 6–8 glasses of water a day.

Avoid 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 died… 

Talk 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) have passed.

■ 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


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