How to look after yourself

How to look after yourself

The period following bereavement will undoubtedly be hard, but there are things that you can do to look after yourself.

Talk about your feelings
Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, such as a partner, a close friend or family member. If you don’t feel as if you can open up to anyone, then contact Ben’s free and confidential helpline on 08081 311 333 or use our online chat facility.

Talk about the person
Don’t be afraid to talk about the person who has died because not mentioning them can leave you feeling isolated and alone in your grief.

Allow yourself to feel emotions
If you feel sad and need to cry, let it out. It’s important to grieve for your loved one and crying can help to release these emotions. If you feel angry, try and release this emotion in a safe way, such as punching a punch bag or pillow. Or try journaling to write down and release your emotions.

Take care of yourself
Try as much as possible to eat a healthy, balanced diet, get enough sleep (or rest if you can’t sleep) and exercise.

Maintain your social life
It’s easy to feel like you don’t want to do anything when you’re grieving, however, it’s important to continue your hobbies and meeting up with good friends. Maintaining your routine and social life will help distract you or make you feel better, even if for a short time.

Avoid short-term ‘fixes’
Avoid relying on alcohol or taking drugs as these don’t solve anything and can make you feel worse in the long-term.

Allow yourself to adjust
Losing someone close to you is incredibly hard. Accept that you may need to adjust to living on your own or learn how to do tasks normally done by the person you lost, such as cooking, DIY or finances. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and remember that Ben is always here for you.

Do what you can on special occasions
Anniversaries and special occasions can be really hard when you’re missing a loved one, so do whatever you need to do to get through them. This might mean taking time off work, going away somewhere or spending time with others you care about to distract yourself. The first occasions without your loved one, (e.g. birthdays, Christmas), will always be the hardest, so ask a good friend or family member to be there with you if possible.

Life won’t be the same after losing your loved one, but in time you will create a new normality. Many people find that the bad days eventually become fewer and fewer, and they can still miss the person they lost while also regaining their enjoyment in life.