Activities to help you and your family deal with your grief

Find time to reflect upon your feelings

WHEN a loved one has passed away and you are grieving it is hard to see a way of moving forward, but there are activities to help you and your family deal with your grief.

We have spoken about how grief can be handled, and that the process and the time it takes is different for everyone.

It is easy to get caught up in grief and let it affect your life, both personally and professionally, but there are ways in which you can keep your mind distracted and help you and your family get on with life without forgetting the person who has left you.

It is important to occupy your lives with healthy activities to prevent anxiety over the death of a loved one.

Celebrate their life

Remember the good times you spent with your lost loved one. Have a celebration to mark special dates such as birthdays or anniversaries, and take the time to get together, go through photo albums, reminisce about happy moments with them and think about them the way they would want you to.

Get plenty of exercise

Although you may feel like sitting around the house, you will really benefit from getting regular exercise, as it reduces stress and anxiety and can help your overall mood to help the healing process. If you have younger children, get out in the open and get some fresh air.

A new pet

Getting a pet will help you to focus on something other than your grief and can improve your mood, as they offer comfort, emotional support, fun and a sense of purpose. It goes without saying that you must be in the situation to adopt a pet and it is not a decision which should be taken lightly, but if you can, it will be good for you and your family.

New hobbies

Take up a new hobby like painting, writing, crafts, etc. You could do more reading, there may be novels which you have been putting off, or maybe you could focus on a certain subject which interests you and study up on it. If you enjoy a sport but haven’t practised it for a long time, now could be the perfect time to get back into it or take up a new sport. Arrange trips out with your family and close friends.

Meditation

Meditation can help you to deal with stress and also grief as it will give you the time to reflect upon your feelings and how you can deal with this loss in your life.

Stay social

It may sometimes be hard for your friends to know how to help you with your grief, but if they try to reach out to you, although it may be tough at times, try not to push them away. Stay in touch, get together with them. They can’t take your grief away, but they can help to take your mind off things and talk about the good times. If needs be, join a support group.

Maintain routines

Whether you are alone or with family, make sure that you maintain routines, such as getting up, washed, dressed, eating, your daily activities and going to bed at proper times. You will more than likely have photos of the person who has passed away in your home, so look at them, talk to them, say good morning or good night, it can help you to feel that they are still with you.

Scrapbook

Making a scrapbook or journal to remember a loved one is a lovely activity for children, but also for adults. If you do have children, make one together. It will allow them to think about and discuss how they feel and understand the importance of remembering the good things about the person they have lost. There are also books about death that they can read or have read to them.

Make keepsakes

You can sit down with your children and make items such as memorial stones, bracelets, necklaces, bookmarks, keychains and other items to remember your loved one.

Get a puzzle made with a nice photo of you all together and do it with them, or go out and plant trees or flowers in memory of the deceased. They could also paint a picture of your loved one, make a collage with photos of them or create something out of clay to remember them by. Another idea is to write a poem or a letter, or make a memory box filled with keepsakes which remind them of your loved one.

Healing heart

Making a ‘healing heart’ can be another good activity to do with children. Make a big heart out of fabric or craft paper, cut into pieces, and on each one, have them write thoughts related to the passing of your loved one, how they feel, what they miss, what they remember, how they want to feel… then the heart can be put back together with plasters and used to decorate a wall.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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