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Healthy Goals That Will Help You Manage Your Grief
Living with grief is often an exhausting, emotional process that can leave you feeling out of control as it ebbs and flows. Because feelings of grief can seem to diminish and then show up when you least expect it, it’s important to learn a few ways to manage those feelings when they arrive so that you’re not overwhelmed. Taking good care of your mind and body is a great start, but you can also think about how to reduce stressors in your life and look for support; My Grief Connection is a helpful community that strives to make the journey through grief a bit more manageable by providing support resources and counseling information.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to find ways to heal:
Reduce stress where you can
Because feelings of grief are often made worse when there are other difficult emotions present, it’s important to learn how to manage things like stress or anxiety. Reducing stress can be challenging, but you can start by getting a higher quality of rest each night and prioritizing your mental health. It also helps to think about where your biggest stressors lie and pinpoint triggers; for instance, if you’re experiencing stress related to your job, consider the source of those feelings. Are you unhappy with the work itself? Making a big career change in the midst of grief might be overwhelming, but you can start setting a few objectives now and take slow steps toward them. Not only is this rewarding, it can give you a feeling of control over something in your life that’s making you unhappy.
Use free tools to boost your career
When you’re ready to make a career change, having the right tools at hand is essential. Not only will this help to alleviate stress or anxiety over an impending lifestyle shift, but it will also allow you to stand out in the eyes of potential employers. Resources such as an online resume creator and free templates will give you the tools you need to create a stellar resume using a premade format that’s fully customizable. Rather than creating a resume from scratch–which is time-consuming–simply choose from a library of professional-looking formats and add your own copy.
Manage difficult feelings with a hobby
Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just need to find some relief from the emotional roller coaster that is grief, picking up a calming hobby can be extremely helpful. Not only can this be beneficial for your mental health in general, it can actually help you work through your grief and/or trauma. In fact, art therapy is often used in professional counseling settings to help individuals express their feelings safely. You might paint, draw, sculpt, write, or play music in order to process your emotions through a creative outlet. Many people who have never taken up a creative hobby before feel apprehensive at first, believing they don’t have the skills to pull it off, but it’s not about skill. Feeling your way through art therapy can help you manage difficult feelings, which is most important.
Find support at home and elsewhere
While art therapy is a tool that can be used when you’re alone, it’s important to also find ways to manage feelings of grief through support from friends, family, and others who understand what you’re going through. Utilize tools like My Grief Connection to find support groups near you or to connect with others who are grieving. Because grief can feel like a solitary emotion, it often makes us feel isolated, so making connections can be extremely helpful.
Learning to take care of yourself, set some small goals, and utilize free online tools that can help with a career change are all great ways to manage grief, but it still takes time to heal. Remember that there is no one right way to deal with those emotions, and the journey is different for everyone.
Special thanks to guest blogger Charley Sunday for contributing this post.
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A New Home and a Fresh Start Amid Grief
It goes without saying that losing a spouse or partner turns your life upside-down. But one thing that doesn't change is your physical surroundings. The route you once walked to the corner store, the kitchen where they cooked your favorite meals, the herb garden you planted together — they're all still there. The same environment that once felt like home can feel disorienting without your partner.
If you and your partner lived in the same house for a long time, reminders of the loss can feel ever-present in your space. While some memories of your loved one can bring comfort, constant or intrusive thoughts can take a toll on your mental health.
It's okay to consider leaving the home you once shared. In fact, doing so can be an act of self-care. Of course, relocating doesn't eliminate feelings of grief completely, but it may be the fresh start you need to eventually arrive at a "new normal" in your life.
Choosing a New Neighborhood
You don't have to travel a long distance to experience a completely different neighborhood. You might want to live in the bustle of a city or in the tranquility of the countryside. You may find that you have more flexibility to move closer to work or family now. Rather than frequenting the same local haunts you used to visit with your loved one, you have the chance to find new places to make yourself a "regular." Remember, you can always venture back to your old neighborhood for a visit when the mood strikes.
Be gentle with yourself. Moving allows you to begin sorting through your loved one's belongings. Maybe you can discard some non-sentimental items as you're decluttering your own possessions for the move. It might be a good time to donate most of their clothing and shoes if you haven't done so already.
When it comes to sentimental items, pack them up, and don't force yourself to make any decisions right now. You can store the boxes at your new place and revisit the items inside whenever you're ready.
Getting Ready to Sell
Moving is always a stressful experience, even when you're not dealing with grief. Make sure to get extra support from friends, family, and professionals. Even if you're usually the do-it-yourself type, consider hiring pros to get your home market-ready. They can quickly address any glaring maintenance issues, such as damaged plumbing, a finicky heating system, cracked windows, or chipped paint. Hiring a house cleaning service to deep-clean your home for real estate photos can be more affordable than you might think. These investments pay off when you place your house on the market.
Buying a Home
When you're ready to buy a new home, there are a few key steps you'll need to take in order to ensure things go smoothly. First, it's important to get your finances in order. This means creating a budget and saving up for a down payment. You'll also need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you've done all of this, you can start the search for your new home. When you find the right one, be sure to have a professional home inspector take a look before making an offer. Once everything is finalized, you can move in and start enjoying your new home!
Once you’ve purchased a home, it’s time to purchase home insurance and consider a home warranty. Are home warranties really worth it? If you’re in a new home with all-new appliances, you could pass on a home warranty. But if the home inspection revealed some issues, it may be wise to purchase a policy.
Losing a spouse or partner will require a lengthy healing process. Use the tips above to find a new home and get a fresh start. If you need help processing your feelings of grief, reach out to My Grief Connection to find hope and support.
Thank you to our guest blogger Catherine Workman!
Catherine loves seeing the world and believes travel contributes to our overall wellness. She believes we should
all leave our comfort zones once in a while and uses travel to boost her physical and mental health. Ms. Workman
is part of a great team at Wellness Voyager and enjoys sharing her thoughts on travel and wellness.
Sara J. Cobb
Founder, My Grief Connection
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Updated 11 September 2023
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