Experiencing extreme sadness and coping with grief are the two most challenging aspects of our lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean the death of a loved one, but it can also be a heartbreak. Anger, shock, sadness, emptiness, and all the negative feelings are there. A good therapist’s advice, however, can pave the way towards one’s healing.
A tragic event can happen in a blink of an eye, but its effects feel like they will last for a lifetime. During these times, the mind is so focused on the negative side of life, and all other aspects of living have become dull and lifeless. It is a painful phase of one’s life, but as they say, life goes on. If you are grieving right now (or maybe you know someone who is), then here are some activities that will effectively make the situation easier.
Jog Or Run Around The Park
Breathe in fresh air and let yourself witness the sunlight once more. Go out and do your physical body some favor. Run, jog, or even walk around the neighborhood or the park. There are scientific reasons why this simple exercise makes you feel good instantaneously. This short workout is known to stimulate the body’s “feel-good” hormones called the endorphins and enkephalins. “Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful.” Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist explains.
It is also another outlet for you to interact with others and smile once again. Isolation, most of the time, will worsen during the grieving period and can even give way for a damaging self- talk. Go out and interact with others even with a simple nod just for you to see that you are not alone and there is still a colorful life outside.
Binge! Stop the calorie count and treat yourself to your favorite restaurant or dessert shop. Grieving makes it hard for you to eat adequately, and if you notice, you haven’t been getting the proper nutrition that you need for the past days. Let yourself taste once again how good it feels like to eat your favorite food. Don’t deprive your body with the proper nutrition as it can also affect the way your brain thinks and functions. “In research conducted only in the last few decades, scientists have discovered that the gut releases a hormone when you eat food that helps regulate the levels of sugar in your blood and slows down the emptying of your stomach.” William Anderson LMHC elaborates.
Plan A Mini Vacation
You need to feel alive after that tragic and life-changing loss you’ve been through. Don’t confine yourself in that place where you can feel the painful memory of yesterday. Get a fresh start! Engross yourself with searching online for budget destinations you can explore with your close friends. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said. Trust us: your friends are excited as well to see you alive and active once again.
Join Support Groups
The worst part of grieving is you thinking that the world has forsaken you. Maybe you are already starting to compare your life with others’. You may be asking why this is all happening to you while other people are having the time of their lives. Moreover, even the guilt you are feeling makes it hard for you to open up with other people.
Counselors always advise their patients to join peer support groups to meet with people who are undergoing the same vast of emotions as you. They say that sometimes it is easier for a person to open up to someone who understands their grief without any judgment on the part of the listener. In support groups, it is sure that you will get honest pieces of advice, solace, and unconditional acceptance.
Go Out And Socialize
Have dinner with your friends or a lunch out with your family, or even invite your best friend to a coffee shop and talk about life. It’s about gearing your mind away from the painful loss. Occupy your mind with something good for the meantime until you get used to it.
The plan is to get yourself busy after you allow yourself to cry and feel the numbness and sadness surrounding you. While grieving itself is a normal part of the process, prolonging it and not doing anything to alleviate it compromises your overall health. The negative emotions flowing in you can significantly affect your mental health and may even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Remember that life goes on and this is not how your life should end. Acceptance is indeed the toughest part of the process, but with the proper coping, the pain will not last any longer. Talking and opening up to a very close friend, family member, or a professional therapist is an excellent first step towards healing.