Self-care is perhaps never more important than while grieving. Eating well, staying active and spending time with friends and family all play an important role in a person’s ability to take a healthy approach to grieving. Taking time for yourself, however, is just as critical.
A self-care box is a safe and happy place ideal for someone who is constantly having distressing thoughts and feelings, particularly suicidal after a loss. They may feel guilty, that their life has no purpose or that they want to join their lost loved one. How and when they are used is up to you – there is no “right” or “wrong” way or time. The important thing is to use them when ready to do so, whether that’s today, tomorrow, or weeks – even months – from now. This will help you feel grounded, secure, happy and alive.
The contents of a grief self-care box will be different for each person and should contain their favourite things and items to help calm them down. These contents could include: a favourite film, sweets/chocolates, incense, photo/picture of them doing something they enjoyed doing with their loved one, a favourite blanket, colour therapy book, old birthday and Christmas cards from loved ones etc.
Some ideas for items to include are:
A way to reflect
Keeping a journal can help you reflect on the life of your loved one, the relationship you shared and the impact he or she had on you. Journaling also gives you the opportunity to write about your grief, express what you miss most and reflect on special memories in a private, cathartic manner.
Something to capture memories. Life is full of many special times and experiences. As you reflect on your many, varied memories of your loved one, jot some of them down on pieces of paper and place them in this memory jar. Open the jar any time you feel like it – perhaps on the person’s birthday, a holiday or other meaningful day, or merely because you want to – and rediscover a few of the wonderful moments that will keep your loved one’s memory alive.
Including a candle
Light it when you miss your loved one most, or to mark a special day, such as a birthday, holiday or other significant moment.
Finding a way to relax
Aromatherapy can heighten feelings of healing, relaxation and mindfulness. Adding some essential oils can be beneficial.
The box itself makes a perfect container to hold cherished items and other mementos that offer special meaning and remind you of your loved one. You might also consider personalising this box to reflect your loved one’s personality and passions.