Losing a loved one is never an easy thing to go through. It can feel isolating and can have a deeply negative effect on your life. While there are many people who turn to therapy as a way to help them cope, not everyone is comfortable with going down that traditional route.
Luckily, there are other, more creative ways to deal with the pain that don’t involve sitting down with a therapist for hours on end. From art therapy to cooking therapy, here are five unique ways for you to deal with your grief from losing a loved one.
1. Walking Therapy
Sometimes, what you need is to get out and get some fresh air. Walking therapy, which consists of talking and walking with a qualified therapist, can make it easier for you to talk about your grief. Being outdoors in general can be extremely therapeutic. If you are someone who has a hard time being open with their emotions in the first place, it might not always be easy for you to talk about how you’re feeling. But with a few sessions of walking therapy with a professional, you’ll be surprised at how much more comfortable you are discussing something so intimate and private.
If you are interested in walking therapy and learning more about it, do some research online or ask experts who may be familiar with this specific type of service, such as a reputable and experienced funeral director in Melbourne.
2. Art Therapy
One of the best ways to heal from your emotional scars is to express yourself creatively. After losing a loved one, you may not be in the mood to create. However, the moment you pick up that paintbrush, you’ll instantly feel better. Believe it or not, art therapy is a real thing and is recognised as a form of psychotherapy. Art therapy can include everything from drawing, painting, working with clay, and more. In a professional setting, art therapy is led by a professional therapist who uses art as a way to identify and address the emotional issues of participants.
During your session, your therapist will encourage you to explore the thoughts and emotions behind the object or image you have created. In between trying to plan a traditional funeral service in Melbourne and making other kinds of funeral arrangements for your loved one, take some time out for yourself and consider art therapy as a way to cope with the loss.
3. Cooking Therapy
If you’re already someone who likes to cook, then perhaps cooking therapy is right for you. Many people find it therapeutic to create a meal from scratch or bake until they’ve run out of ingredients. Others may join bereavement groups where people participate in a cooking or baking lesson while also being encouraged to talk to one another about their experiences with loss and grief. Keeping your hands busy while you share stories about your loved ones with others who have undergone similar experiences is a good way to make you feel better. Not to mention you’ll feel less alone in your grief and may even be able to make a friend while you’re at it. Best of all, you’ll be able to learn the skills necessary to keep yourself fed during these trying times.
4. Writing or Journaling
Although you may not be ready to talk openly about what you’re feeling, writing your thoughts and feelings down is a good alternative. Journaling is a great way to process what you’re going through and is even recommended by therapists to their clients. Your journaling can be in the form of poetry, song writing, or you can simply write down what you’re feeling that day.
One of the best parts about journaling is that you can always look back on your past writing and see how far you’ve come since you first started. Another advantage of journaling as a form of therapy is that you can do it virtually anywhere. Take your journal to work with you, use it while you’re waiting for the bus, or even while drinking a cup of coffee at your favourite coffee shop.
5. Laugh Yoga
This may sound strange, but believe it or not, laugh yoga is a real thing. The last thing you want to do after losing a loved one is laugh. In fact, in this particular moment it may feel like you may never laugh again. However, laughter yoga is a great way to regain some joy back into your life.
Research has shown that laughter has a variety of health benefits including reducing stress levels and anxiety, generating feel-good endorphins and releasing pent-up emotions, as well as being a way to get aerobic exercise. These yoga sessions are usually held in small groups and tend to last anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours. The point of the class is to simulate laughter, which will eventually turn into natural, pleasurable laughter. Interestingly enough, your body can’t tell the difference between faked laughter and real laughter. Not to mention all the other health benefits that come with laughter.
These classes are open and available for people of all ages, so don’t hesitate to come with the entire family if you feel like they also need some form of therapy to help them grieve.
Alternative grief therapy is defined as the practice of any activity, such as creative or outdoor pursuits, and is focused on exploring and expressing feelings of grief after the death of your loved one in a supportive environment. Whether it be attending a cooking class or joining a laugh yoga session, having some sort of therapy in your life after losing a loved one is significantly beneficial to not just you and your mental, emotional and physical well-being, but those around you as well.