This is the Valentine month, so what better topic than one about loving yourself? Not in a selfish, narcissistic way, but in favor of self-care.
Self-care is especially important in grief recovery and that is one area where it is often ignored. When we are grieving, we are in pain and not motivated to take care of ourselves. Often we are worried about others in the family and their grief, so we focus on them. But what we may forget is that we will be of much more value to those around us if we take care of ourselves.
Grief can be like an illness—our bodies and minds are in shock, not operating at full capacity; we feel sluggish. If we were ill, we’d probably get bed rest, see a doctor, eat well, drink fluids, and maybe take prescription or holistic remedies. Grief needs tender self-care as well. Rest, good nutrition, and doing things to help reduce stress are useful. Activities such as exercise, deep breathing, and journaling help. Be a little self-indulgent and get a facial or massage, take time to walk in nature and reflect. Talk to those in your support system. Talk to your loved one, write to him or her, see what your intuition tells you—do you feel a response? You may also want to explore energy-based and spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and many of the energy healing modalities. If you haven’t tried these before, keep an open mind. You might be surprised how much they can help.
My grief sent me on a journey. It was difficult but it made me much stronger and it helped me to get more in touch with my intuition—both are benefits. I tried all kinds of things, many for the first time—therapy, meditation, yoga, energy healing, reflexology, polarity, shamanic massage, spiritual development retreats, visits to referred mediums and psychics, and more. But I also forced myself not to totally bury myself in work. I knew that was just delaying the inevitable. I made myself take quiet time and walk in nature, especially on the beach—a favorite for me.
One of the most important things, when I was ready, was to reach out and help others. Helping is very healing and another form of self-care — while we are caring for others. It works!
May you always remember to be GOOD to YOU!