Some people experience grief longer than others do. A support network can help with grief, and some may seek this through a caregiver. We thought a blog about helping with grief people during the pandemic would be useful, as well as debunking a well-known theory about grief.
What are the five stages of grief in order?
Some believe there are five stages to grieving, indirectly developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. These five stages included denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Unfortunately, these stages have been misunderstood as absolute experiences, however, the individual stages can be experienced less or not at all during grief. Fortunately, Kubler-Ross’s work helped to make the topic of death less taboo and more acceptable to talk about.
Grief can be acute and complex despite the type of loss. For example, the loss of a pet may be considered a lesser type of grief, and the person who experienced this type of loss may not acknowledge their grief, leading to a prolonged grief period.
Here are three DIY ways to help with grief:
1. Have a Support Network
Regardless of where one is in their grieving process, the experience can cause guilt or other negative feelings to arise, which is why I recommend seeking support. Being social during the grieving process will help you reflect on your experience and understand what may be perceived as something else.
In a hospice situation, a person who assumes the role of caregiver may not feel capable of helping their loved one, thus creating guilt after the patient passes away. If the caregiver is a parent, guilt can come from not always being there for their child, even though they need breaks to help cope with stress. Grieving can also lead to isolation. Therapists can help with the grieving process and feelings of guilt, but since this is a DIY post, I recommend talking to those you are close to, such as family members or friends.
2. Watch your Diet
The next DIY practice is maintaining your mental health a different way. When grieving, the food you are eating may negatively impact the grief experience. The foods we eat influence our mood as nutrients help the brain produce serotonin. I discuss how diet can affect your mental health negatively in more detail in the previous blog.
A quick way to help your health is to reduce the number of processed foods in your diet. These foods have components that can negatively affect your health, making it harder to cope with grief.
3. Honor a Loved One
Honoring a loved one’s memory can help you to accept their loss. Take time to do something that reminds you of your loved one, such as creating a garden, donating to a charity, or volunteering to help those in need. If your new activity is an ongoing process, it will create a positive train of thought, and it may even keep you connected to others during a time where it could be harder to do so.
When to start:
Grief can become more complicated if not acknowledged. Unfortunately, therapy might not be easily accessible during the pandemic, but these DIY ideas are easy things to try in the meantime. Practicing all three remedies may happen at various times, but all should be practiced consistently.
The Moonlit Memory Virtual Walk takes place on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Now is the time to register, tell our community about who you want to remember and honor, raise money and receive great gifts. Visit https://www.homehospiceassociation.com/moonlit-memory-walk and join us today.
We are now just a week away from our Moonlit Memory Walk event. It is with gratitude that we close out this series on grief, collective healing, and how together we can honor lives and still live in our way.
Next week we will begin to dig into why Home Hospice Association exists as a Canadian Registered Charity. Our commitment is to end the suffering often experienced as we approach the end of life, how widespread is the suffering? We look forward to answering that question in the coming weeks.
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