Newly widowed – self care

Grief is felt emotionally and physically. It affects you in ways you won’t even expect. It is understandable that there will be days that you can't face the thought of getting out of bed and even a task as simple as preparing a meal will seem overwhelming.

You may also feel tempted to put all your energy into looking after those around you but, as the saying goes, 'you can't pour from an empty cup'. It is important to be gentle with yourself and recognise your limits.  

  • Try to eat - even when you are not hungry, when you don’t feel like it and when food tastes like nothing.
  • Shower/bath, brush your hair, brush your teeth – every day.
  • Continue to do the little things you love because they will bring you some comfort. You may need to remind yourself what these things are (ie. reading, cooking, fishing, sport, music, writing).
  • Even if you're never been a writer before, try it now.  It can be a great way to express your emotions and sort through the thoughts in your mind, in a private and safe manner.  Writing helps your brain process the trauma that comes with grief, it's of even more benefit if you use a pen and paper however typing can also help.
  • Massage may be beneficial for relaxation, releasing emotions and human contact.
  • Physical exercise is so beneficial. You may not feel like much, but try something even if it’s just a short walk around the block each day.
  • Every day step outside. Allow yourself to feel the beauty of the sun shining on your face.  Try to focus on only the warmth it provides you and bring yourself into that moment.  It may give you a moment of calm.
  • Make self-care part of your routine.  Such as take a bath/light a candle before bed or walk around the block when you wake up in the morning. 
  • Meditation and yoga can be a great way to promote peace and quieten your mind. Seek out a restorative form of yoga such as  yin yoga or meditation and work up to the more energetic forms of yoga, such as vinyasa. 
  • Laugh. It is so therapeutic.  Sometimes you will laugh so hard, it ends in uncontrollable sobs.  That’s ok!