'Self-care' is a bit of a buzzword. It's become about 'me time', bath bombs, scented candles, manicures, facemasks, herbal teas, touching trees and drinking a lot of water out of an enormous plastic water bottle. While none of these are wrong in themselves, they offer a fleeting moment of care, and may not appeal to everyone. They can also become a pressure, leaving grieving people feeling worse when the solutions don't make everything better.
In grief, self-care is actually about caring for our mental and physical health and keeping ourselves safe and well.
Caring for ourselves
The most important part of self-care, which sounds easy but is actually quite hard, is being kind to ourselves. It's about being as good to ourselves as we would be to others in the same situation, giving ourselves permission to feel sad, to say no, to take breaks and to get things wrong sometimes. Remember, we are doing our best in a situation not of our choosing.
Self-care can include:
Meditation and mindfulness may help. However, as someone with ADHD, these allowed too much space for intrusive thoughts; it was too much for me but some people find it very useful.
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.