Everyone loses someone at some point in their lifetime. And while loss is a natural part of life, it doesn’t make the grief that follows any easier. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to do anything in the days, weeks, and even months following a loved one’s death.
While you may feel like you’ll never have the willpower to get yourself back on track, that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth. While it will certainly take time, there are a number of ways you can find meaning and healing in your journey ahead.
How Grief and Lack of Motivation are Tied
People going through the grieving process often report feeling sluggish, lethargic, and downright apathetic. And although it can be easy to blame yourself for a lack of motivation, these feelings are not the result of personal failure.
According to the American Brain Foundation, any traumatic or stressful event, including losing a loved one, will elicit a survival response from the body. This response can cause you to feel tired and to have trouble concentrating.
It’s important to realize that this grief manifestation is natural, and it’s not your fault you don’t feel motivated to do things. Blaming yourself will only create more stress, making it harder to heal.
Instead, try to remember that grieving is an important process that can take some time. You may not feel like yourself tomorrow or the next day, but if you focus on caring for yourself and allowing yourself to grieve the loss, eventually you will start to feel better.
Finding Motivation After a Death or Loss
While you may not feel like doing much after the loss of a loved one, finding outlets for reflection and creativity are important. They can help you heal and prevent chronic conditions like depression and anxiety.
While it’s important to try these steps, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. One day you may be able to meet up with friends, other days you may not be able to get out of bed. Healing can be a slow, ebb and flow process. Take each day one at a time, and remember to celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small.
Make a Bucket List
What better gift could you give your loved one than a promise to live your own life to the fullest! Start brainstorming all of the things you want to do before you’re unable to. You don’t need to start skydiving or taking backpacking trips today, but writing down what you want to do will spark your creativity and help you view your goals in life with new clarity.
Take Up a New Hobby
A hobby can be a wonderful way to channel pent-up energy while providing a distraction from your grief. You might take up painting, play a new sport, or try a new recipe. If you’re having trouble trying a hobby on your own, consider attending a class for encouragement and support.
Take a Solo Trip
A change of scenery can do wonders for your emotional well-being. While you may feel like it’s selfish to go on a trip in the wake of a loved one’s death, taking a trip by yourself can be a rejuvenating experience. This is especially true if you haven’t had much alone time since your loss. Taking a solo trip will allow you to reflect on your loved one and your grief on your own terms.
Consider Your Values
It’s common for identities to shift after a loss, especially if you were close to the person who passed away. You may no longer feel as certain of your values or role in life as you once did. Now is a perfect time to explore those values and work on reinventing yourself. Consider picking up a self-help book from the library or listening to a podcast about finding yourself.
Ask For Help
If you’re having trouble doing things on your own, don’t be afraid to ask a family member or trusted friend for help. You might ask for assistance running errands, cleaning the house, or caring for children or pets.
It’s also important to make plans outside of your daily responsibilities. Staying home for too long can lead to isolation and depression. Ask a friend to join you for something low-key, like going to a movie or taking a walk in the park.
Find Support at Options Residential of Minnesota
If you or someone you know is struggling to live independently, reach out to the team at Options Residential. We work with people of all backgrounds to help them learn the skills they need to live independently again.
We’re the best choice for mental health supportive living in Dakota County. Call us today at (952) 564-3030 to learn more about our services.