You may behave differently while you are grieving. Some people make themselves extremely busy, while others may sleep a lot or find it hard to make an effort.
Many people avoid reminders of the person who died because of the intense emotions. This can make it difficult to get back into your usual routines.
Some people use alcohol or other non-prescribed drugs to dull the pain. Risk-taking behaviours, including uncharacteristic sexual behaviour, can also be part of grief. While these behaviours may give short-term relief, they can lead to more serious problems.
Tips for establishing helpful behaviours
- Balance rest and activity. Set small goals and congratulate yourself when you reach them.
- Decide on a daily routine that includes getting up and dressed by a certain time. ‘Going through the motions’ can help you maintain healthy habits and self-esteem.
- Recognise that the first time you return to an activity, such as going to the shops, club, school or work, is likely to be the hardest. It tends to get easier with time, but you might like to ask someone to go with you at first.
- If you or others around you are concerned about your use of alcohol or other drugs, recognise that it is a sign you need more support and ask your GP for help.
- Pamper yourself in some way every day: a hot bath, a bunch of flowers, a massage, a special magazine, listening to music, or whatever helps.