After you’ve lost a loved one, you may have a difficult time finding joy and purpose in your life. But there are small steps you can take toward healthful healing, and setting new personal goals can also offer you comfort during this difficult time. So here are four ideas to help you through the grieving process:
Adopt a Pet
When you’ve lost a loved one and you’re overwhelmed with sadness and heartache, caring for a pet can help you feel better by providing companionship and giving you a sense of purpose. Taking a dog for a walk around your neighborhood will help you get the fresh air you need to stay healthy. And a cat will provide comfort and warmth as she purrs on your lap and lends you a sympathetic ear. But if you’re not ready for a cat or a dog, smaller animals can also make great companions: bunnies, guinea pigs, birds, and even fish give you something to come home to and take care of while you’re on the road to healing.
Make Time for Exercise
After you’ve lost a loved one, it may be difficult to find the will and energy to stick to an exercise regimen. But exercising is a proven way for our brain to release neurotransmitters that help us feel better about life and about ourselves. If you have a hard time feeling motivated, consider signing up for a 5k race in honor of your loved one, and start training for it. Joining a gym may also help you fight feelings of isolation. Even if you don’t form deep friendships with the people in your group classes or on the treadmills next to yours, seeing familiar faces and engaging in casual conversations will help you reconnect with the world around you.
Get Fulfillment at Work
As you experience grief, you may be reminded that life is short, and if your career is leaving you unfulfilled, you may want to consider taking steps to get into a more rewarding work situation for yourself. So dust off your old résumé and take time to update it by adding your latest experience, skills, and accomplishments. Use a PDF editor to upload your current résumé, make changes, then download your new and improved version, and send it to companies you’d like to get a job at. Going out for interviews and meeting new people will help relieve some of your sadness, and when you do get a new job, being busy learning new skills will keep your mind off your loss, at least temporarily.
Plan a Weekend Getaway
A change of locale may help you revitalize as you go through the grieving process. So organize a weekend trip and plan a few enjoyable activities while you’re there, to give you something to look forward to. If you’re traveling to Los Angeles, score some Dodgers tickets and catch a game of baseball, or get tickets to a play or a concert and spend an unforgettable evening at the Music Center. Whether you’re spending the weekend alone or with a trusted friend, getting out of your comfort zone and stepping out of your routine can help you heal as you discover that there is still beauty and wonder in the world around you.
Everyone’s experience with grief is different. If you’re looking for comfort during this difficult time, there are small steps you can take to help you through it. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional therapist if you’re struggling.
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