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The Benefits of Goal Setting During Grief by Madison Shirley

The loss of a loved one affects our emotional and physical well-being in many ways. In the throes of grief it can be very difficult to process our feelings, maintain a schedule, and feel motivated to think about the future. There truly is no timeline for grief as everyone travels the journey at their own pace, in a way that is unique to them. In the New Year, it might be helpful to set some goals. Whether the goals are big or small, related to personal life or career is totally up to the individual. Keep in mind that goals should be attainable and set in place to help cultivate positive feelings. Setting goals in grief might be broad and less timeline oriented because we are dealing with complex emotions.

The benefits of creating goals include defining a purpose, prioritizing oneself, and building up self esteem. 

Defining A Purpose: Oftentimes after loss we feel a profound sense of isolation and an impending unknown future. Losing the familiarity and comfort of our loved ones is shocking. “Our plan” of what was going to be is no longer the same. During this difficult time it might be helpful to break down your purpose as simply “to be.” To be present in every moment and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come to the surface. You might feel extremely down one day and up the next. That is totally ok! Some grounding exercises include breath work, journaling, going for a walk, or meditating. Remember, choosing to fight everyday and honor our loved ones is a beautiful, quite meaningful purpose. 

Prioritizing Yourself: Grief can manifest itself in different parts of the body. It might be very challenging for you to follow a proper eating schedule or practice self care while grieving. A goal you may set could be to eat three, balanced meals a day. Eating well is essential to help heal your body from the stress of grief. If your appetite is diminished you may want to try and eat small portions throughout the day. Plenty of leafy greens, fruits, lean meats, nuts, grains and water are all great options to fuel your body. Leave some space for indulgence. A well-balanced diet with the occasional treat is encouraged. 

Another goal that helps facilitate healthy self care habits is to get adequate rest. Maybe you are not sleeping enough and your mind is racing at night. Developing a bedtime routine might help. This ritual can include taking an epsom salt bath, journaling about your day, practicing gentle yoga or sipping on chamomile tea. Decide on a set time and put aside electronics every night if you can. Doing so allows your mind and body to dedicate this time to rest and recharge.

Building Up Your Self Esteem: Sometimes it is really hard to feel good about ourselves. We might feel shame, blame or guilt surrounding our trauma. It is crucial to remember that our loss(es) are not because of anything we did. Setting goals and taking the active steps to accomplish them can challenge negativity and create positivity. What helps boost one’s self esteem is a subjective thing. Different things make people feel mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually better. An overall goal can be to give yourself grace in grief. Do not place pressure to feel, look or act a certain way. EricsHouse encourages you to find a personalized plan that will help make you feel better. A goal you might set is to join a support group, seek one-on-one guidance, or attend a retreat. Our goal is to help you feel loved, heard, and seen. This New Year try to remind yourself of your immense value by just simply being you. Remember, you will never be alone as you continue your personal journey toward healing. Everyone at EricsHouse is ready to accept you where you are today. We will walk alongside you with compassion, understanding, and encouragement.