A Guide To Grief And Loss: A Healing Approach – Part 5

Self-Care cannot be put aside during Grieving

When someone is grieving they often let their Self-Care slide because of the sadness and depression. Grievers should be aware that they need to take good care of themselves even if they don’t feel like it. It is important to Do it anyways. Here is a list of self-care activities to go over. This is an easy self-inventory for the griever so you can recognize if you are taking adequate care of yourself and handling the main responsibilities in life. If you are letting these things go, consider getting some counseling, sharing with a friend or reaching out for help.


Self-Care List:

  • *ID self-care problems (sleeping your needed nightly requirement [6 to 8 hours], eating regularly, personal hygiene [showers, brush teeth, maintain hair, clean clothes}, chores are done [wash, cleaning home, clean dishes, groceries, garbage picked up ],  financial responsibilities such as paying bills, balancing checkbook.
  • *Prioritize problems (it can feel overwhelming, that’s OK, start by making a list of what needs to be done, arrange it in order of importance, break it down into small steps, try to do a step or two each day, if you can’t…ask for help).
  • *Focus on one problem at a time. If feeling you just can take care of it…tell someone.
  • *Choose an appropriate goal. (What needs to be attended to first, must eat can pay bill tomorrow).
  • *Phrase the goal carefully (“I will choose to do this today”).
  • *Don’t criticize yourself if you don’t accomplish your goal on that day. Try again later or ask for help but don’t give up.
  • *Consider possible obstacles and seek positive solutions.
  • *Keep track of your progress so you can feel like you are moving in the right direction. We often dismiss something once we accomplish it rather than giving ourselves the credit we are due.
  • Ask yourself these important Questions!:

How are you doing in these areas of Self-Care?

What areas need work?

( Are you eating 3 times a day, how many hours are you sleeping, are you exercising, are you going outside, talking to friends, doing activities?)

Reach out:

Reach out to someone clear headed that can help you implement coping strategies to assist you in follow through with these issue.

Example: Write on the bathroom mirror: Take shower, brush teeth, comb hair, and get dressed.

A note on door: Remember purse or wallet, take keys.

Write up a priority list: Pay bills, take care of chores that must be done.

Come up with grocery list of simple things to make: Can of green beans, sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies, heat up meals etc.

Put a menu up on the refrigerator;

Breakfast: Blueberries, nuts and carrots

Lunch: Green beans, fresh raspberries, fried eggs

Dinner:  Fresh broccoli, fresh strawberries, and chicken wings 

(Of course….. pick out food you like but make it simple and easy)

Tack up reminders: Go for a walk, Feed the dog.

Grief is a hard process. Our feelings of sadness reduce our desire to take care of ourselves. But the things listed in this article are the realities of life that need to be taken care of for good health and wellness. If you are unable to accomplish these tasks after a few days of grief, it is time to reach out for help. Help is only a call away. There are grief support groups, county social services can help, 211 will call United Way which will link you up with services. Your life is important, too!

To learn more, set up a conversation with Vicki at www.supportivetalk.com.    

For additional reading, try Healing After Loss: Daily Mediations by Martha Whitmore Hickman and “I wasn’t ready to Say Goodbye” by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair, PhD. For more articles by this author, go to www.supportivetalk.com or book a conversation at your convenience at the website.