Grief brings us to our knees. There is no doubt about that. But we don’t have to let it disable us.
When we experience the loss of a loved one, the ending of a marriage, a child or friend moving away or the loss of a job we’ve invested in, self-care typically disappears. We become so caught up in the emotional ups and downs, often distracting ourselves with endless tasks and others’ needs that we hardly notice the level of neglect that’s occurred. Add to that, in this technology-dependent world, many of us feel more disconnected than ever.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The pathway through loss is a vulnerable, fragile journey, and self-care is one of the best ways to strengthen and recharge ourselves. The University of Miami’s Touch Research Center confirms this. Simple human touch has a multitude of emotional as well as physical benefits: it lessens pain, reduces the body’s stress responses, enhances the immune system, and encourages relaxation.
A facial, on the other hand, can be a wonderful choice. It includes just enough touch, but not too much, so that you can pause, relax, and nourish your body. A good facial includes just the right mix of face, neck and shoulder massage, arm massage (and sometimes foot massage), so that you feel as though you’ve been cared for, nurtured! Plus, afterwards, you look refreshed, hydrated and healthy.
At HARPE Aesthetics and Wellness, we are strong advocates for self-care. When grieving you may not eat well or exercise or take the time to properly rest. However, it is precisely during these emotionally challenging times that caring for your body is essential. The first step is to slow down enough to listen, to see what is calling out for attention.
Self-care may seem self-indulgent, but at HARPE we consider pampering to be part of a healthy lifestyle. Just taking the action to nourish yourself with some healthy touch can help you move through grief, rather than trying to avoid it. Feeling better, even for an hour, can jump start some other beneficial activities in your life and give you a much-needed break from heavy emotions.
Self–care doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some simple, nourishing forms of self-care you can do:
•Keep a journal
•Take a warm bath with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oil
•Spend time in nature and expose yourself to sunshine
•Take some quiet time to put on some soothing music and relax, using gentle breathing techniques or a guided meditation
•Eat frequent, healthy, protein-rich small meals, plus your favorite fruits and veggies throughout the day, especially if you have very little appetite (avoid sugar and alcohol)
•Sip on nourishing herbal tea, smoothies and green juices to keep your nutrients high
•Drink plenty of filtered water
•Do some gentle stretching and exercise such as restorative yoga, tai chi, and walking
•Use a diffuser with calming essential oils such as lavender
•Reach out to a friend you trust to share your feelings
The most important thing is to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would a beloved friend. This can be tremendously healing. If you’re currently experiencing a loss and recognize that you’ve dropped your usual self-care routines, no worries. Simply choose one and start there.
If you’re ready for a little self-care and think a facial would feel good right now, we’d love to welcome you into HARPE’s beautiful, new office in Hendersonville. Debra Anderson, our aesthetician, believes strongly in the power of healing touch. In fact, she is known for her “wonderful touch,” excellent skin care, and stress relieving facials.
Other gentle, medical aesthetic treatments can be helpful as well, addressing the toll and stress that grief can take on skin and appearance – basically, if you think you look better you in turn feel better.
There is no pressure. You may begin by taking a baby step. Trust the process and know it will get easier with time. Do what you can to stay in the day and just focus on what’s right in front of you.
George, A. Bonnano, bereavement expert and author of the book, The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss, writes these encouraging words:
“The good news is that for most of us, grief is not overwhelming or unending. As frightening as the pain of loss can be, most of us are resilient. Some of us cope so effectively, in fact, we hardly seem to miss a beat in our day-to-day lives. We may be shocked, even wounded by a loss, but we still manage to regain our equilibrium and move on. That there is anguish and sadness during bereavement cannot be denied. But there is much more. Above all, it is a human experience. It is something we are wired for, and it is certainly not meant to overwhelm us. Rather, our reactions to grief seem designed to help us accept and accommodate losses relatively quickly so that we can continue to live productive lives.”
Services that may help boost your mood:
•Organic Facials with aromatherapy
•Ultimate Relaxation Facial with massage, pressure point release, aromatherapy
•Personalized Rejuvenation treatments with results but very little downtime
•Personalized nutrition, weight loss, stress management, and wellness coaching