More people around the world are experiencing new levels of grief, according to the American Psychological Association. The APA has updated its guidelines in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Prolonged grief disorder is when an adult experiences significant grief for 12 months or longer, or six months or longer for a child. The grief process is different for everyone, but here are some ways you can start to heal, courtesy of Faith is the Evidence.
Get Quality Time With Family and Friends
If you’ve had a recent loss, the first thing you can do to help heal is to surround yourself with love. Spend more quality time with your family and friends so you can build memories. Social interactions with friends and family boost your mental health, lower stress, and provide you with much-needed emotional support.
Remember Your Loved One
Healthy grieving also includes remembering your loved one. Grieving family members and friends may get some comfort in certain rituals, such as decorating their loved one’s grave on special occasions and holidays. You can also hold a ceremony or celebration of life on your loved one's birthday or the anniversary of their death.
Enjoy Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is another essential piece of healthy grieving. Address your sleep routine and make changes if you’re having trouble. Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable place free of noisy distractions or electronic devices. Consider using a white noise machine to help you gently fall asleep. Healthy sleep habits can give you benefits such as more energy, a stronger immune system, less stress, and sharper focus.
Exercise a Little Each Day
Exercise is another key part of building your emotional and mental health back to the baseline. You can easily add 30 minutes or fewer of exercise to your day and get many of the benefits of a more active lifestyle. Physical activity can help you with managing your weight and may reduce your risk of developing some diseases. Additionally, it may improve sleep habits and mental health.
If heading to the gym isn’t what you had in mind, consider taking a walk – or better yet, catch a Dodgers game! Anything to get you up and active will be a great benefit at this point, particularly if you can enlist a friend or two to tag along.
Explore the Outdoors
The next tool for a healthier grieving process is nature. Spending time outdoors may help your mental health. It could reduce your blood pressure, lower anxiety, and improve your mood. Pair up with a buddy for outdoor activity at least two hours a week, such as hiking a trail, riding bikes, jogging outdoors, and getting out on the water.
Refocus Your Career
Grief can also impact your career by giving you a new perspective. If you’re worried your job isn’t the right one, take steps to make a change. This may be the right time to go back to school and earn a new degree, such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate. Consider enrolling in a convenient online degree program so you can manage the rest of your responsibilities. Carefully review each online program’s requirements, tuition costs, and accreditation. Some of the most promising graduate programs are in computer science, cybersecurity, and business.
Adopt a Pet
One last way you can help yourself process a big loss is to adopt a pet. Visit a local animal shelter to get matched with a pet who needs a home. Get your space ready for your new pal by finding a vet, buying supplies, and setting up a separate quiet spot for your new furry friend.
You can stay healthy and happy during the grieving process by taking extra steps to improve your self-care. Make goals to move forward in life and keep your loved one in your heart.
To contact Sara email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website The Widow Net.
Faith is the Evidence is an Affiliate of many companies and organizations offering a treasury of audio, video, and written materials to enhance your Christian walk. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email email@example.com.