This guest post was provided by Lucille Rosetti of Thebereaved.org.
The loss of a job or the death of a close friend or loved one can leave you feeling blindsided. If your life depended wholly on the job you lost or the departed family member, you might get so anxious and depressed thinking about how to start life afresh. When grieving, you must take the necessary steps to prevent yourself from developing a mental health problem. Here are some steps to help live with grief and decrease mental health complications.
Spending time with people who understand and care for you
Spending time with close friends and family members who empathize with your condition can provide excellent mental relief. If you don’t have such close associates, you can join a support group where you’ll find people with similar conditions.
In addition, you can choose a religious/pastoral support group or a bereavement group. Visiting a personal therapist is another good way of dealing with grief.
Spend time outdoors
When struck with grief, don’t spend so much of your time indoors, sleeping, or sitting on your couch. Getting out there and doing something will distract your mind from the cause of your grief. On the other hand, staying at home and doing nothing will make your mind drift and focus more on the grief.
Get adequate sleep
Getting restful sleep is another excellent way of managing grief. On average, an adult should sleep for seven to nine hours every day. Anything less than this can worsen your mental condition. Take steps to create an environment that’s suitable for sleep: keep things clean and decluttered, creating a calming, stress-free atmosphere using things like lighting and houseplants, and keep the temperature at a comfortable level. Every little bit can help.
Eat healthy diet
Anxiety and depression associated with grief can make you lose your appetite. If you refuse to eat, your body will lack the minerals and vitamins needed to keep it healthy. So it’s advisable that, even when grieving, make sure you eat well to stay strong and healthy. Doing this will also prevent other physical symptoms that result from grief.
Apart from spending time outdoors, it’s advisable to get involved in some physical activities to help reduce your anxiety, loneliness, and stress. Exercising is a good way of managing stress, mainly because it brings people together. Choose fun activities that can easily divert your attention from grief.
Find ways to relieve stress
Stress is one of the symptoms of grief. It is also the first stage of depression. By managing stress, you’ll indirectly manage grief. In most cases, while grieving and you still have to go to work, you’ll experience terrible burnout.
To combat burnout, you can take the following steps:
- Acknowledge your emotions and deal with them
- Value your time; get organized
- Establish boundaries – don’t go beyond what you can comfortably manage
- Set reasonable expectations and goals and work towards them
- Take time to rest, socialize, and read inspirational books
Write a Journal
Another excellent way to manage grief is by writing journals. Through journaling, you’ll be able to relieve what’s on your mind by writing it down on a piece of paper. Writing such a piece can be very emotional, but it will help you heal from your grief.
For example, suppose it’s about a departed family member. In that case, you can write about how you spent your life together, what you had in common, the places you visited, and any other special memories you hold about them.
Grief can result in mental health problems if not managed well. So, while grieving, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Following the above suggestions will go a long way towards helping you maintain excellent physical and mental health. Just remember that, on this journey, you are not alone.