Goodbyes are never easy. Whether the parting is permanent, temporary, with a partner, friend, or loved one, it is hard to know what to do next in order to heal. Recovering from grief is often a long and unpredictable process, but having some ideas on what you can do to take care of yourself in a vulnerable time is the first step to feeling better. If you or someone you know is struggling to overcome depression following a death or end of a relationship, please read on and share.
1. Take yourself on a date
Sometimes the best dates are the ones where you can call the shots. Make a day (or night) of it and take yourself to a favorite restaurant, store, or event. Spending some quality time with yourself in a place that you love, doing something that you enjoy will show you that you are in charge of your happiness.
2. Cry if you need
Crying is how our bodies express difficult emotions, so don’t hesitate to let the tears flow when you are comfortable doing so. Don’t deny yourself from what you need to do to heal. You may even find that you feel a bit better after a good cry!
3. Reach out to friends and family
There are people who love and appreciate you for who you are. Take this opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, or to make new ones! Make plans to meet if possible, or just talk for a bit over a phone or video call.
4. Go to a place you’ve never been before
What better way to move into the future than with a visit to somewhere new? Where you go can be a place that is new to you, or new to your city, but even a small change of scenery can serve as a reminder that life goes on and that new memories can always be made.
5. Do something with your hands
Keeping your body and mind engaged in an activity will help distract you from your troubles. What you chose can be as complex as playing a musical instrument, or as small as untangling a knot. The repetitiveness will offer you comfort during a difficult and uncertain time.
Physical activity is great not only for your body, but for your mind too. Endorphins, the hormones that inspire joy, are released in your brain every time you break a sweat. Go for a run, take a dance class, go swimming, whatever activity inspires you most. It will do your spirit good.
7. Seeking professional help
Therapy is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your future. When you’re trying to reconnect with yourself after a loss, meeting with someone whose job it is to give advice and listen to your problems is more valuable than ever.
8. Identifying why you are sad
If you could describe why you are sad in one sentence, what would your reason be? Sometimes simplifying our feelings can help us to put them into perspective. For instance, if you say that you are sad because you miss someone you love, think of other individuals you care about and why.
9. Understanding that the sadness won’t last forever
An ancient Persian saying states that “this too shall pass”. Similarly to how the good times with your loved one didn’t last forever, the bad ones will not either. You’ve been sad and survived before. The way you are feeling now will only make you stronger. Happiness will come again.
10. Accepting what happened
In order to feel all of life’s joys, we must have some sadness to compare it to. What happened is in the past, but your future is ahead and in your control. Who knows what great places and experiences are on the horizon if you give yourself the chance to heal. Even the most beautiful gardens still need fertilizer to grow.