Look After You
Keeping physically active, eating right and adequate rest can make a difference to how you feel. If asked, share how you’re feeling but don’t feel pressured to do so.
Try taking some of these steps and see how it feels:
- Establish a daily routine by doing little things; showering, making your bed, hanging the washing out, stretching or meditation. Choose one thing to start with.
- Get out of the house. Spending time in nature has been proven to elevate the mood. Head to the beach or bush, listen to music, smell the fresh air and feel the sun on your face.
- Do something physical, like going for a run, walk or yoga. Get your hands dirty in the garden.
- Go to places that you know nurture your soul, such as the beach, a favourite child hood or camping spot or a church.
- Give yourself permission to reflect on your child. Talk about them, touch their things, sit in their bedroom, write their story down.
- Learn what it is that makes you feel peaceful and content.
- Go 'home' - spend time in the place you grew up if it's a place of comfort.
- Keep to a regular bedtime and sleep in your bed (not in front of the television.)
Reduce other stress on your life
Dealing with grief can make it hard to deal with everyday situations you would normally handle with ease. Use these strategies to reduce any unnecessary pressures.
- Postpone major life changes such as moving house or changing jobs until you’re feeling better.
- Help someone else who needs support. It can be a great distraction.
- Take short breaks and step away from your everyday life.
- Say ‘no’ to social events if you’re not ready or fear it could trigger anxiety. Don’t feel guilty.
Taking care of your mental or emotional health is important. It won’t always take care of itself, especially during stressful times.
It might take time for positive feelings to return but keep at it. Things will get better!
Connect with friends, whanau, someone
Socialising after the death of a child can often be one of the most daunting things to overcome. The energy required to make small talk can feel exhausting. The conversation meaningless when you’re dealing with deep pain and grief. Some days it is so much easier to withdraw, but strong connections can help you feel better and stay well.
Start with your inner circle first to help rebuild your confidence. Not all friends understand your loss and keep their distance for fear of invading your privacy and possibly saying the wrong thing. It’s new for them too.
Keep visits or outings short if it makes socialising easier.
If you can’t offload to family or a friend, find a counsellor you can trust to help work through your grief, or talk to a spiritual adviser, such as a priest or a tōhunga.
We don't run grief support groups, provide counselling or therapeutic advice. We do help parents connect with others and share resources.