It’s been a few years since I’ve written about self-care (Self Care or Selfish), but it remains an integral part in helping walk through the grief journey. Recently, I’ve been thinking that no matter how much time goes by, it’s still so important to protect your heart while you grieve.
As the season changes from Summer to Fall, a bit of melancholy has tried to settle into my spirit. I love the Fall. It’s my favorite season, and it was Melanie’s favorite season, too. But, somewhere deep within my heart, the change reminds me that another year is going by and she isn’t here to enjoy it. Oh, I’m sure the Fall colors in Heaven are vivid and vibrant – so much more so than my mind can imagine, but while this mama is still on Earth, I miss my girl.
Protecting your heart while you grieve is critical to healing, regardless of the number of seasons that pass by. It’s easy to get mired down in the memories of what once was and never make our way out of the quagmire.
While holding on to our memories is comforting, they can often bring a sense of sadness, too. There is a balance somewhere in between, but it takes time to get there. So, what can you do to protect your heart while you grieve?
There are still some basic things that can help, like getting enough sleep and exercising. But truth be told, when you’re grieving, sleeping is often difficult—and exercising? It’s often last on my list of things I want to do. I’m just keeping it real here. What about all the other responsibilities we have? We often we put ourselves last and don’t consider our own needs.
Self-care has seven pillars: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, recreational, social, and environmental. Since we are all different, perhaps some of the following things I’ve found helpful may resonate with you:
• Quiet Time / Praying
• Eating healthy meals and hydrating
• Confiding in a close friend or family member
• Grief Counseling
Although grief is very personal, we can’t easily do it alone. Even if you meet with a trusted friend for coffee, I encourage you not to try to do this by yourself. We can support one another through both the good times and hard times.
As you walk this road there will be those who are better able to provide the emotional support you need and others who cannot deal with grief. It’s common to find that those you may be closest to are not the ones who will support you on this journey. It’s not because they don’t care – it’s because they don’t understand grief. I encourage you to give grace and understanding to those people and lean into the ones who have been on this journey themselves.
Lifting you up and praying for continued peace and comfort, trusting that God will do as He has promised…