“Taking good care of YOU, means the people in your life will receive the best of you, rather than what’s left of you.” ~ Carl Bryan
I’m curious; do you spend any time thinking about you?
I would venture a guess that right about now, you are thinking absolutely not. There’s so much going on that needs your attention, others to take care of and things to get done.
No I am not thinking about myself. Why would I?
There are too many things and people to think about other than me.
Well… the truth is, it doesn’t matter about everyone and everything else. The truth is, if you don’t take the steps to put yourself on the list of priorities than I don’t have to tell you what the outcome of that decision will be. You will fall by the waste-side and then wonder why no one bothered to see you or even notice what has happened to you, let alone, how to connect with you.
They will notice that you were not there for them when they needed you most.
They could care less how you feel about connecting to others and helping them out any way that you can.
They just want to know that you are there for them no matter what.
Yes, that is a true statement and yes, you are very much there for them, always.
BUT…. It’s getting to you and you need a break to recharge and regroup.
Simple as that…
No BS; No drama.
You are looking for an opportunity to step away and recharge and then to return renewed and refreshed.
And, whether your heart is broken with grief or you just have way too much on your plate, what are you to do when you’ve finally reached the point of acceptance and realize you must continue to move forward? Now what? How do you go on from here when life as you knew it will never be the same? You didn’t ask for this nor did you ever think this would be your story to tell. The pain is still very real and has been greater than any pain you have experienced before. Yet, here you stand, you’re the one who is left and others don’t know what to say, what to do or how to be with you. In fact, that’s how you feel about being around them too!
What is in your control is what you can do for yourself.
And care for yourself is what you must do. All of us have some form of stress in our lives. Big or small each event can bring anxiety and grief. As you know, stress affects your overall well being and if it is not managed, will wreak havoc on your body. You absolutely have to find a way to take care of yourself and your well-being.
The ideas below may seem overly simple but they are important and effective:
- Rest – Physically, life and grief depletes your energy and lowers your resistance and can leave you open to more serious health problems. While grieving, your body can feel so much physical discomfort that you may feel that something is seriously wrong. This is all part of the normal grieving process but you do need to be kind to yourself and take measures to ensure that you give yourself plenty of rest and get as much sleep as possible. Try activities to help you relax such as yoga or meditation. Drinking warm milk and listening to some soothing music may also help.
- Exercise – If you follow a regular exercise program, as soon as you can, try to get back to this routine. Exercise releases stress and tension and even getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine will do you some good. Your body will thank you later and you might feel just a little bit better with a different perspective.
- Diet – The last thing that is probably on your mind is eating and you are probably finding this very difficult to do. But, your body needs fuel and your energy is already low from grief. Even if you can’t face a huge meal, nibbling on some fruit and cheese is probably more doable. Stock up on plenty of snacks that are easy on your stomach: fruits, cheeses, yogurts, cereals, nuts. Now is the time to eat small, frequent meals and not the time to consider losing weight.
Alcohol & Drugs – The pain of grief is more than overwhelming and in the beginning it is very normal to want to avoid this pain by using alcohol and drugs. Occasionally having a drink or two won’t hurt you, but drinking alcohol to get drunk will create a problem. Alcohol is a depressant and the cycle of avoidance will only put off the inevitable and keep you numb. The real truth is that you are strong enough to face your grief and addictions will only add to the problem and prolong your healing.
The last important consideration is to have lots of patience with you and everything you are going through. Life can stop you in your tracks and if you are grieving, you are navigating new and foreign territory filled with lots of emotions all at once. The only path to take to heal grief is to face it head on and pass through it allowing each emotion to rise within you. Once your emotions can be given a voice and acknowledged, you can then let them go. The only fast way of doing this is with kindness and patience.
The basics I’ve shared with you today are just the beginning steps through this journey called grief. There’s so much to share with you and so many tools that will help you always. For the time being I hope these basics help you with grief and other areas of your life as well.