Let’s be honest. Sometimes when you are grieving, you just don’t want to have to think about the pain or loss. Here are five relatively simple and healthy ways to keep you distracted from your grief.
Sweat for the Endorphins
Exercise until you sweat and get a thorough endorphin rush. This rush of endorphins and the use of your large and small muscles will help the mental distractibility to subside for a time. Pain subsides and a feeling of well-being is released through the endorphins in your system. Plan to do a good work-out before you are on the job each day. This helps prepare your mind and body for work. It pushes out the sadness and swirl of endless thoughts grief and bring upon you. Engaging in exercise is the perfect distraction for a person grieving. Click here for 5 tips for healing grief with exercise (Be sure to scroll down the page).
Write lists. They are a great way to help us to focus. Lists can clarify what you need to get done versus what grief is whispering in your mind. Lists can help us focus on the present. Some ideas of lists you might want to make are: grocery lists, lists for work projects, lists of favorite restaurants, lists of dream vacations, lists of friends you can call anytime. Lists about getting through the immediate tasks after a loved one dies can help you slog through the grind of paperwork much more efficiently.
Journal Your Grief Out
Journaling is a great option. Distractions often come to the bereaved as thoughts swimming through our thoughts during grief and mourning. Thoughts about the deceased. Wishes. Things you wished you had said or done or maybe not said and not done. Journaling helps get all of those thoughts out of your mind. Putting them on paper assures you that you are not overlooking anything important and you can review it later. Maybe you are thinking of the myriad of details of a project at work. Journal that before you try to sleep. Writing it down can free your mind to sleep better and to be more effective on the job. The bereaved often have difficulty sleeping and journaling is a proven method to help reduce the internal stress keeping you awake at night. Journaling can bring clarity and help you focus on life rather than on grief.
Be social. During bereavement people often withdraw from friends rather than pressing into their friendships. Going to a movie or out for drinks can feel awkward and even dishonoring to the deceased, however, being social helps distract ourselves from the weight of the grief. Going for a walk with a friend, visiting a museum, babysitting for a friend, all can help distract us from our grief.
Pour Into Your Job
Work! Many people find that a great way to distract themselves from grief is to pour themselves into their work. This is okay!!! You don’t want to do this to the exclusion of all else, but work truly can be therapeutic. Whether you work at a paying job, volunteer, or create wonderful crafted items for others, the action of work can be a positive way to distract yourself from grief.
While distraction isn’t healthy for long periods of time, it can be a relief to get your mind off of your present grief. These simple distractions can give you some space and time to get away from your grief, regroup, and help you deal with the weight of your loss when you are ready. When that time comes, join one of our grief groups and talk with our professional grief counselor. We hope to see you soon!