Accept your feelings
Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are. Sadness, loneliness, fear, confusion, anger—these are among the many feelings you may experience, and they are completely normal. Emotions are often raw early in the grief process, but it is important to express them. Ignoring your feelings is an unhealthy coping mechanism, and attempting to stifle feelings usually leads to an emotional outburst at an inconvenient time.
Be patient with yourself
Grief is an intensely personal process. Accept that it follows no magic formula or time frame. It will take as long as it takes. Think of the care you would extend to a friend in the same situation of loss, and allow yourself that same grace. Be careful not to take on responsibilities beyond what is realistic. It is better to allow for some flexibility in your obligations during this time.
Pay attention to physical needs
It can be very easy to neglect your physical needs while grieving. However, this is a time when taking good care of yourself is crucial. As difficult as it may seem, making every effort to get adequate sleep, eat nutritionally balanced meals, and fit in regular exercise and intentional relaxation can do wonders.
Accept the help of others
Understand that grief is hard work. It requires a great deal of energy and can be exhausting. Even though we place a high value on self-sufficiency, it is important to ask for, and accept, help from those close to you.
(From the booklet, “The Importance of Self-Care During Grief”, by Wendy Tabor-Buth, Bereavement Manager for Hospice of the Red River Valley).