We all know that when times get tough, a little bit of self love and attention can go a long way. But it’s not always that easy. When grieving, some days will feel helpless, we eat junk, lay in bed, barely speak – and that’s ok. Other days, we wake up with a mega to do list, to ‘get our heads back into things’. And that’s ok too.
The thing about grief, is that we are not in control and we can’t predict the next wave of emotion from the last. In life, the only things we can often control are:
- The commitments you’ve made to yourself and others
- Being a good person to yourself and others
- Staying on your path
But how can we cater for ourselves during grief?
1. The commitments you’ve made to yourself and others
We aren’t failing for being distracted and for not following up on our commitments when we are grieving. It is a time when it’s ok for our commitments to become selfish. Remember that “you’re a normal, wonderful, griever who is just doing your best to cope”, no one is expecting anything from you, so don’t put pressure on yourself to do anything either.
2. Being a good person to yourself and others
When we are grieving, whether that’s from a bereavement, from a stress, from an upset or from something else, we often do or say things we don’t mean. Our energy may dip, our mind may slip and people can react impatiently with us. It’s important that we and others, give us the extra forgiveness, empathy and patience during this time. It’s ok not to be on top form, and it’s ok to feel as though a part of you is lost. Feeling sad, lost, confused, and angry do not make you a bad person, they just make you human, and with perspective, patience and process, you will see that the ‘you’ that you recognise and love is still with you.
3. Staying on your path
To me these steps may seem ironic! First off, we’ve already clarified that there is no such thing as a path when it comes to grief, so how do we know what to follow? And the answer is, we don’t. Number 3 simply highlights the importance of acceptance in grief. When you wake up, how do you feel? Check in with your body, check in with your mind and take your path from there. It’s important that you don’t rush yourself and that you don’t allow others to rush you.
So although you may feel like you can no longer control or predict life, remember that it’s ok to take things minute by minute if you need to, it’s ok to feel a loss of self, and it’s ok to be selfish.