On August 31, 2020, I lost one of the most important people in my life; my grandmother. She helped raise me and was the most giving, loving, and gentle person. She was an amazing cook and taught me everything I know about being in the kitchen. She seemed to understand me the way nobody else did and was my very best friend. I wouldn’t be the woman I am without her. For the first few months after she died, I was so sad. I just remember thinking, “will I ever be truly happy again?” Will I ever feel joy like I did before this happened?”
Needless to say, losing her was the hardest thing I have ever faced other than having my babies. It’s hard to believe that it has almost been a year and I have managed to get through it without completely losing my mind. Having a loss this close to home was not easy and getting through it is taking some serious intention on my part.
I have been trying to incorporate certain things into my lifestyle that help me manage the grieving process and help me to live and thrive every day. By all means, I am no expert on this topic. It’s normal and healthy to seek professional help in dealing with loss because it can kick your butt if you let it. My writing this blog post is to simply tell my story and offer my perspective. These things have helped me so much and I believe they will help you too.
5 Lifestyle Habits To Help Bring Joy After Loss
Talk to someone/Therapy
Having someone that you trust and who is there to be a listening ear is vital to getting through this process. You need to be able to freely express how you feel without any judgment or feeling like you have to rush to be better. Keeping your emotions in is one of the biggest mistakes we can make in life and even more so in the grieving process. You have to be able to talk to someone.
A therapist is also a great person to talk to. Even if you have the support in your life, going that extra mile to get regular counseling and therapy is another tool in the bag of healing. I am currently looking for a therapist and I really can’t wait to start doing this. There are so many options and with a little research, you can find someone just right for you.
If you have followed me or read any of my blog posts I am an avid believer in exercise and staying active. Not just for obvious health and weight loss purposes, but exercising has been scientifically proven to improve your mood. If there is anything you need after losing a loved one it’s a mood boost.
According to this article on www.healthline.com: exercise releases these neurotransmitters (or chemical messengers) called Endorphins. Endorphins help to relieve pain and stress. There are many other chemical messengers released when you exercise: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are also chemical messengers that all play a part in regulating your mood.
Exercise can look different for everyone, whether it’s intense training, walking, or riding a bike. Finding an activity that you can do and enjoy will benefit your mental and emotional state as well as your physical appearance.
Pursuing A Passion
Something that has helped me to experience that joy that I mentioned earlier is going hard at pursuing my passion. Finding something that I love is one of the biggest blessings of my life. Channeling that hurt and pain into my business has been a lifesaver. There is nothing like knowing what you are supposed to be doing with your life and that kind of joy is worth more than gold.
Look, I am a Jesus girl all day and I am not ashamed of it! I know for an absolute fact that I would not be ok after my grandmother passed away without my relationship with Jesus. The bible is very clear about the heart of God when it comes to people being heartbroken and hurting.
Psalms 34:18 in the Message translation of the bible is pure perfection:
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
Being in the presence of God has kept me from falling apart and given me so much comfort and peace in the midst of all of this. I am never one to beat anyone up with religion, it is a free country and you can believe whatever you want to believe. I am just sharing what has worked for me.
Being present in this sort of context is typically referring to paying attention to what is going on so much that you can respond to what is needed at that moment.
When I am saying be present it is in regards to two different ways:
Being present with yourself
Something I have noticed about my grief process is that I have to listen to my heart and my body. Paying attention to what you need at the moment is so vital to the healing process. Right after my grandmother passed there were these moments where I was going on with my day-to-day activities, but the pain was just lingering under the surface. I had to take moments here and there and just go in the room and cry. Getting those tears out helped me to feel so much better.
When things like this happen we tend to bury the emotions and never just let ourselves feel. We do things to distract or numb the feelings, but that can be so harmful to our mental and physical health in the long run. So be present and listen to what you need. If you need to cry do that. If you need to rest or sleep do that.
Being present with your loved ones
Support and love have been key elements in finding joy since the death of my grandmother. Leaning into spending time with my husband and my kids is something I have tried to be more intentional about. Losing someone you love makes you realize what is important and making memories with the people that are the closest to me is more important than it ever was. Don’t take people for granted because they won’t always be there. It’s a difficult lesson, but a very real one.
If your loss is fresh give yourself time to go through it. It may not seem like it right now, but you can and will find joy on the other side.
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