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Good Grief Part Two

Self-Care While Grieving

By J. Delaney-HowePublished 9 months ago 4 min read
Good Grief Part Two
Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

“The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

Earl Grollman

If you missed Good Grief Part One, about the five stages of grief, it can be found here:

While walking through the stages of grief, it is crucial to care for yourself.

What is Self-Care?

“Self-care is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation.”

Audre Lorde

In 1998, the World Health Organization defined self-care as:

“Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.), socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.”

In short, self-care is any activity you do to maintain mental, emotional, and physical health. Self-care is different for everyone.

ISF (International Self-Care Foundation) has created a framework for self-care called The Seven Pillars of Self-Care.

Pillar 1: Knowledge and Health Literacy

Being able to look for health information and knowing how to use it. Knowing when to seek professional help or guidance.

Pillar 2: Mental Well Being

Mental well-being encompasses a wide range of areas, such as satisfaction with your life, optimism, self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and a sense of belonging and support.

Pillar 3: Physical Activity

Moving your body through exercise. Riding a bicycle, walking, jogging, yoga, and going to the gym are great ways to get your body moving.

Pillar 4: Healthy Eating

This vital part of self-care helps to keep your overall health in check. What you eat also plays a significant role in energy levels.

Pillar 5: Risk Avoidance

Avoid any risky and dangerous behaviors that can put you in harm.

Pillar 6: Good Personal Hygiene

Hygiene is an essential aspect of self-care. Maintaining your usual hygiene routine will help you feel better as well.

Pillar 7: Rational and Responsible Use of Self-Care Products and Services.

This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Why Is Self-Care Important While Grieving?

Grieving is a long process, and it is different for everyone. Some of the most powerful emotions we have come when grieving a loss. It can be messy, raw, and overwhelming. Self-care can help throughout that journey. It is essential to care for ourselves to help alleviate some of the feelings of hurt, loss, and even anger.

Self-Care Activities

I have compiled a list of self-care activities that may be helpful.

Set aside time each day to meditate.

When you are in a state of worry or anxiety, set a time limit to worry. Once that time limit is up, intentionally move on from that state.

Do breathing exercises, using deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

While grieving, forget about to-do lists. Focus instead on what you have accomplished that day. Make a “Got Done” list instead.

Be proud of what you do accomplish.

Get outside in the sun. Notice its warmth and light.

Care for plants or a garden, noticing how the plants grow and change each day.

Do something you enjoy, something you are good at.

Immerse yourself in your skills, talents, and abilities and create something.

Soothe yourself with a hot, relaxing bath.

Burn your favorite candles and use your favorite aromatherapy.

Grab your favorite comfortable blanket, and enjoy that cup of tea or coffee curled up on the couch.

Play music that speaks to you, that matches where you are at that moment.

Share your feelings and struggles in a journal.

Talk to your friends and family support system about where you are in your journey and how you are doing. Do not sugarcoat it. Be authentic and honest.

Draw on spiritual support, whatever your belief system.

Do not isolate yourself.

In Closing

I have utilized many of these suggestions as I journey through the grieving process over the loss of my mother. They did and still do help with the process of grief.

I hope that my piece Good Grief Part One, and this piece, Good Grief Part Two help people through their grief journey. Be well, friends!


About the Creator

J. Delaney-Howe

Bipolar poet. Father. Grandfather. Husband. Gay man. I write poetry, prose, some fiction and a good bit about family. Thank you for stopping by.

Queer Vocal Voices on Facebook.

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Comments (4)

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  • Rick Henry Christopher 8 months ago

    Excellent. You put this together really well. I can tell you put a lot of you heart and thought into this. Thank you for posting this. It is definitely helpful.

  • Tiffany Gordon 9 months ago

    Excellent tips Jim! I especially love the tip on setting a top limit of worry! I think I'll try that one tomorrow! There are also aspects of pillar 2 that I will be actively working on! Thx 4 sharing!

  • Oneg In The Arctic9 months ago

    I think one we don’t talk enough about is personal hygiene. Sometimes we forget how to take care of ourselves physically too.

  • Another excellent article with some great recommendations.

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