Here are some activities that may help you as you live with your loss:
- Exercising: This allows you to let go of sad thoughts and feelings. Try walking around the block, rollerblading or any other types of exercise you enjoy.
- Expressing Your Feelings: talking about your feelings with a parent, trusted friend or counselor.
- Journaling: This just means writing your thoughts on paper. You may want to write a letter to the person who died; then you may choose to put it in a safe place or destroy it.
- Meditating and Relaxing: These can offer you a time-out from your thoughts and emotions and allow you to start healing. If you are involved with a religion, prayer or speaking with a spiritual leader may be helpful.
- Being Creative: drawing, dancing, singing or any other type of creative activity. Make up a song and sing it as loud as you can or paint the emotions inside of you.
- Watch a Funny Movie: This offers another time-out for your emotions and it feels good to laugh again.
- Being Thankful: for the support you have received from friends and family, for books that have helped, etc. An attitude of thankfulness can be hard, but it will be important to develop.
- Reading: the more you know about grieving and understand how other people cope, the better.
- Feel Good Box: Making a "feel good" box for those days when you're feeling especially down. Put stuff in your box that makes you feel special or helps you feel comfort. Examples are: pictures, music, quotes, letters.
- Relaxing: relaxation audio and CD's.
- Consulting a Doctor: Follow your doctor's advice for healthy living and take any medication as prescribed.
- Be kind to yourself: no one grieves the same, in any set time period or in any set order. Know that you will have good days and bad days. Reach out for help and support to those you trust and who will listen.
How will I know I'm Feeling Better?:
The best answer to this question is one only you can provide because we are all so different. You may find that you can talk about the person who died and not cry. You can see someone who looks like the person who died, or walks or talks like the person, but it doesn't upset you to the extent that it did in the beginning.
You are able to enjoy holidays and special events again. You are starting to have more energy and you are not as crabby. You may also start up new activities and feel you can put yourself into them again. Some days you may feel as though things are really not getting any better, but it is normal to feel that way.
As the months go by, you may find that you experience "anniversary reactions". That means that on special anniversaries related to the person who died, you may feel grumpy, sad or restless. This is normal. You may have these feelings for a long time and they resurface at special events like graduations, birthdays, or weddings. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it's something to keep in mind so that if you do experience this it doesn't mean you are weird.