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Grief and Grieving - Home Treatment

Coping with grief

Home treatment plays an important role in working through the grieving process. Talking about the loss, sharing cares and concerns, and getting support from others are very important components of healthy grieving.

If you are caring for a dying loved one, it is important to take good care of yourself also. When you know that a loss is approaching, especially if you are able to participate in the care of a loved one who is dying, you may be better able to recognize and deal with your feelings of grief. It is important that you get caregiver support to help you care for your loved one as well as to help you prepare for your loss.

If you have just had a major loss in your life, it is important to:

  • Get enough rest and sleep. During sleep, your mind makes sense of what is happening in your life. Not getting enough rest and sleep can lead to physical illness and exhaustion. Try activities to help you relax, such as meditation or guided imagery.
  • Eat nourishing foods. Resist the urge not to eat or to eat only those foods that comfort you. If you have trouble eating alone, ask another person to join you for a snack or meal. If you do not have an appetite, eat frequent small meals and snacks. Consider taking a multivitamin daily.
  • Exercise. If nothing else, take a walk. Brisk walking and other forms of exercise, such as yoga or tai chi and qi gong, can help release some of your pent-up emotions.
  • Comfort yourself. Allow yourself the opportunity to be comforted by familiar surroundings and personal items that you value. Special items, such as photos or a loved one's favorite shirt, may also give you comfort. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as a massage.
  • Try to stay involved. Staying involved in activities that include your support network, such as work, church, or community activities, may help you as you grieve.

To help you work through the grieving process, make sure to:

  • Surround yourself with loved ones. You may feel lonely and separate from other people when you are grieving. You may think that no one else can understand the depth of your feelings. Surrounding yourself with loved ones and talking about your feelings and concerns may help you feel more connected with other people and less lonely.
  • Get involved. Take part in the activities that occur as a result of the loss, such as making funeral arrangements.
  • Avoid quick fixes. Resist the urge to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or take nonprescription medicines (such as sleeping aids). When you are under emotional stress, these may only add to your unpleasant feelings and experiences and may mask your emotions and prevent you from normal, necessary grieving.
  • Ask for help. During times of emotional distress it is important to allow other people to take over some of your responsibilities. Other people often feel the need to show you how much they care about you.
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