While it may not be time to break out the swimsuits quite yet, we are a few weeks into Spring and can soon look forward to the snow melting and the chill in the air giving way to warm breezes. As we see grasses and trees green and flowers sprout in the Spring sun, our thoughts naturally turn to the idea of new life, rebirth, and growth.
If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one though, it can be difficult to connect with the feelings of hope and renewal many people embrace during this time of the year. The idea of having a fresh start might even feel like disloyalty to the person who has passed away. But whether you lost a parent, a spouse, a sibling or other family member or friend, you can trust they would not want you to stay in the winter time of your grief forever. So, as you trade your heavy winter coats for a short sleeve top, here are some tips for changing your outlook as well:
Get close to someone you care about.
An article in The New Yorker reported even very brief moments of positive physical touch, like hugs, cuddles, or holding hands, can lead to positive emotional and mental results in adults. It can even lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as release hormones linked to positive emotions.
Connect with animals.
There have been many studies about how animals can help those who are experiencing grief. That’s why at Krause Funeral Home, we have always had a grief therapy dog. Our first therapy dog, the late Oliver, was beloved here at Krause. Our new therapy dog, Bennie, is continuing Oliver’s legacy of offering hope to others. If you can’t have a pet for some reason, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter.
Enjoy a funny movie or book.
When dealing with grief, it’s easy to forget of reasons to smile. Smiling or laughing at something you find funny – even if it seems silly – can help ease your pain and remind you there are still positive things in the world.
Do something you love you haven’t done in a while.
One of the best ways to find hope is by remind yourself of who you are and what you love. Even if it’s simple acts like walking in the park, reading a favorite book, or having a spa day.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t forget to treat your body and your mind well. Eat foods you know promote good health, don’t skip your regular medical checkups, and be sure to get exercise. If it makes you feel better, schedule a haircut appointment or join a gym.
Do something kind for someone else.
Psychology Today reports doing something nice for someone else can even raise serotonin levels, which can calm stress, reduce pain, and even help with depression. Be actively on the lookout for ways you can give back.
While none of these actions will bring your loved one back into your world, they might breathe fresh air into your grief journey. If you’re feeling a bit stuck, and you need help in your grief, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff to connect with our aftercare resources.