Whether you’ve lost a loved one in the last few weeks, months, or years, there are several phases of the grieving process that take time. It’s important not to rush yourself so you can assess all the emotions you feel and find ways to cope with the tragedy of death.
Here are some baby steps to take while you’re grieving.
Keep a Grief Journal
Writing down your feelings may help you cope with losing a relative or close friend. You can write in the grief journal every day, once a week, or whenever you feel the need. Filling the journal with words, artwork, pictures of your loved one, or even a vlog journal can help you remember fond memories, express sadness, confusion, or anger, or set new personal goals to help you get through this trying situation. Since you get to choose when you make journal entries, you’ll get the healing you need in your own time.
Use Music as Therapy
Singing, playing an instrument, or attending your favorite concert can have a positive effect on your body and mind, especially when you’re grieving. Music may even remind you of your loved one and bring back great memories of the two of your singing or dancing together.
This can help you come to terms with your feelings while calming your nervous system and helping you reduce the stress associated with grief. You can even invite other relatives and friends to participate in music therapy with you by singing or playing songs that are special to you as a group. Or, you can compose a new song in memory of your loved one.
Working out can release endorphins to boost your mood and bring your mind into a state of calm. When you’re stressed out due to grief, it’s common to gain or lose a considerable amount of weight. You can avoid this with regular exercise and activities like yoga and meditation.
Choose workout routines that make you concentrate on your breathing and stretch before and after exercise so you can avoid muscle tension. Even if you don’t have time to work out every day, simple activities like taking five minutes to focus on your breath while you’re sitting at your desk or taking a walk after dinner a few nights a week can help you clear your head.
Review Appropriate Legal Documents
If your loved one is terminally ill, it may help with the grieving process to get all his/her legal documents in order as far in advance as possible. For instance, if your family member has a will and you know that he/she wants certain items or real estate to go to specific family members.
You can also work with a probate lawyer after the passing of your family member to ensure that all assets are divided fairly. If you live in the Houston area, you can contact a probate attorney Houston who can go over all the details of the will and keep you from having to deal with complicated paperwork while you’re grieving.
Connect with Others
It’s natural not to feel like partying or attending social events after the death of someone close to you. However, too much isolation can worsen the anxiety and depression associated with grieving. Even if you’re not ready to attend large gatherings, you should try your best to stay connected with friends and family who can empathize with you.
A lunch date with a friend, a cup of coffee with a family member, or a nature hike with a loved one can remind you that even though you’re grieving, you have people in your life who love you and are here to hold your hand while you sort through your feelings. As time passes, you may feel like attending larger events and even going to some of the places you visited with your deceased love one. This can help you celebrate the memories of the bond you shared.
You can incorporate any of these steps into your grieving process as often as you need to. Remember that grief is a lifelong process, but as you take care of yourself and tell the truth about how you feel, it will be easier for you to process your emotions over time.