Before losing Jonah, I’m not sure I had even heard the term “self-care.” Yes, I tried to take care of my needs and do what made me happy, but it wasn’t something I thought about as much – it was more just something that happened naturally.
When I became a loss mom and fell into the deep, dark hole that is grief, that changed. My entire life shifted in a moment, and my world was turned upside down to the point where I now no longer know who I am or what I’m doing with my life. It’s a life crisis at the age of 29.
Enter the need for getting really good at self-care.
Some of the best advice I got from other loss moms in the first couple weeks of being without Jonah was “be gentle with yourself” and “be kind to yourself.” Being gentle and kind with myself has really been the only way I’ve been getting through these past 7 weeks! Losing Jonah was due to sheer dumb luck with my lupus antibodies, and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to change the outcome. Believing that fact was my first act of self-care.
Beyond that, it’s been hard to figure out what self-care is, because especially those first couple weeks, there wasn’t much that I could do that would make me feel better at all, besides reading kind messages left for me online and crying. That counts, though, because I’ve learned that self-care is all about doing what you need to do for yourself in the moment.
I wish I would have heard of self-care before losing Jonah, because it’s important for everyone, whether you’re grieving or not! It just becomes even more important when you’re going through something immensely difficult.
My advice to everyone out there who is reading this right now: practice self-care on a regular basis. Whether you’re a bereaved mom like me or you’re just going about your normal life, do what heals you. It’ll improve your journey, no matter what that journey is or where you are on it.
Depending on how I’m feeling in the moment, here are some of the things that heal me:
- Hot baths with bubbles or lavender bath salts
- Going to grief counseling/therapy
- Snuggling with my hubby and watching Netflix
- Going out for a glass of wine with a friend
- Holding my Jonah Bear urn or weighted Jonah Bear tight and crying into his fur (yes, I have two Jonah Bears…I try to cry into their fur equally)
- Getting a massage
- Exercie (walking or yoga)
- Spending time in the online loss mom community
- Buying myself clothes that flatter my post-baby body
What heals you?