Taking care of your mental health during times of grief can be difficult. With emotions running high, it is important to take care of yourself with the right coping methods-to not only to deal with your feelings but with the feelings of everyone around you. Grief is a process, and it needs to be handled carefully with lots of self-care.
Grief is a process
The first step to take when someone close to you has died is remembering that it is okay not to be okay. Grief is natural, and everyone deals with it differently (the same way everyone grieves differently). It’s important to permit yourself to feel whatever you are feeling in whatever ways you deem necessary. Some people need to talk it out to process their feelings, others prefer writing in journals. Maybe you’re an introvert and need time alone with your thoughts to come to terms with what has happened. Be patient with yourself-it’s not abnormal to need extra time or more support than usual when someone close to you passes, especially when they pass suddenly or traumatically.
Your well-being is important, too!
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the stress that comes with grieving, especially if you are taking care of others who are grieving as well. It’s not selfish to take time out for yourself when you need it-in fact, it can be helpful to others in the long run if you are not overwhelmed by your own emotions. If your loved ones are grieving, you can offer them support by practicing self-care yourself. This way, everyone is on an even playing field when it comes to dealing with their feelings and it will be easier for you to help them in the long run!
Accept help when it is offered
If you need support, don’t be afraid to accept it when others offer it and not just from your close friends and family! Sometimes, reaching out to a professional like a grief counselor can help deal with tough emotions. They’re trained to handle people who are experiencing loss on various levels and will be able to offer you the best support possible. And remember: Friends and family need your support as well-so don’t hold back from being there for them, either!
Lean on others who have been through a similar loss
One of the first steps you can take after someone close to you has passed is reaching out to others in the same situation. Whether it’s a friend, support group member, or online community, people who have been through something similar to you can offer you the emotional support that you need when it seems like no one else is around. This can be very helpful in processing your emotions in a healthy way-and without freaking anyone out! Grieving can sometimes appear to be ‘overly dramatic’ when you are only expressing the feelings that come with it. It’s okay to feel like nobody understands your pain after someone dies-and luckily, some people do understand yours.
Remember that grief is normal, but not permanent
It’s important to remember that while you are grieving, it can seem like you will never get over that loss. The truth is, grief isn’t something that goes away overnight. But it does become more bearable-and eventually, you will be able to think about your loved one without feeling like your heart is breaking all over again (or maybe some days, you just need to cry instead of feel okay). Grief is a journey and one that will never truly end-but it can become more manageable when you have the support system that you need.
Commemorate the loss
One way to commemorate the loss of a loved one is to write a letter to them. This can be a way to express all of the emotions that you are feeling, and it can also be a way to keep your memory alive. You don’t have to share the letter with anyone if you don’t want to-but keeping it somewhere safe can be helpful in times of need. Even if you’re dealing with the loss of a pet, commemorating them through cremation or aquamation can help you significantly.
Finally, Don’t be afraid to ask for help if grief becomes too much
Even with all the support in the world, sometimes it’s still difficult to find the coping mechanisms you need. It’s normal for it to feel like grief can sometimes be an insurmountable challenge, especially if your loved one was close to you or has died suddenly. If this happens, don’t be afraid to reach out privately for more help-whether it’s through a mental health professional, support group, or online community. Remember: It’s okay to take care of yourself at this moment. You deserve it.