Almost everybody experiences loss at some point, and when this happens, healing from the pain can be both time-consuming and challenging. It’s common to feel overwhelmed, lonely, and doubtful that you will ever fully recover.
The good news is that taking the time to grieve can help you accept the change and adjust to a new reality. Not only will the pain begin to fade, but life will become more vibrant again. While you can’t skip over this vital stage, there are steps you can take to facilitate the healing process and feel good again. The Stroke Recovery Foundation shares a few below.
Prioritize Health Basics
Emotional pain can distract you from caring for your basic needs, but such self-neglect is counterproductive. Instead, treat yourself as you would treat a loved one. Establish a sleep schedule of at least seven hours per night and make an effort to stay physically active. If intense exercise feels impossible right now, walk around your neighborhood instead.
How you eat can also impact the healing process, so avoid turning to alcohol, caffeine, or junk food to dull your pain. Instead, stock your refrigerator and pantry with convenient yet healthy food options such as fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, canned fish, and protein bars.
Try to Connect
When you experience a loss, you may want to be alone with your pain. However, experts writing in Basic and Clinical Neuroscience contend that solitude and isolation are not the answer. Instead, seek the support and affection of loved ones to help you with the healing process.
If you are working from home, you may need to be deliberate about interacting with people. Make an effort to communicate with your co-workers regularly, and don’t fall into the trap of losing yourself in your work. Instead, make a point of connecting with your friends and family as soon as the workday is done.
Find a Support Group
Because loss is such a universal experience, there are many support groups for people dealing with grief. While an in-person group can be especially helpful, online groups can also provide support. Any platform that allows you to express your feelings and hear from others who have experienced similar losses can make you feel less isolated and facilitate healing.
Talk to a Professional
Many people who experience loss find it helpful to work with a professional therapist. This person can help you find coping mechanisms to promote healing. When seeking a therapist, you can look to your insurance provider; however, this can be a needle in a haystack situation. You could also try word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family. Another option is telehealth therapy.
Counseling is available online through platforms specifically dedicated to telehealth options. Typically, you can make a same-day appointment, and it’s easy to find a therapist who matches your needs. These platforms usually take most insurance, but even without insurance, out-of-pocket costs aren’t high.
Become a Yogi
Practicing yoga can help in the recovery process. Through a series of postures, you coordinate your breath with the movements, and this connection enables you to stay in the moment and experience a sense of peace.
If you are new to yoga, don’t despair. You may be able to find a yoga studio in your area, and if not, there are online options and apps to get you started.
Start a Meditation Practice
Taking time to meditate gives you a chance to slow down, focus on your breath, and gain a sense of calm. Meditations to help you deal with loss include:
• Guided visualizations
• Walking meditations
• Breathing exercises
• Mantra-based meditations
Grieving after a loss is a painful but necessary stage. Focus on taking care of yourself each day. Make your health a priority and try to avoid isolating yourself. Consider joining a likeminded grieving support group or finding a telehealth professional who can help you. Yoga and meditation are also wonderful practices that can provide a sense of calm as you work through your grief. In time, the pain will lessen, and you will be able to enjoy your life again.
The Stroke Recovery Foundation wishes you well on your healing journey.
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