Feeling numb, empty, anxious, depressed, or intensely sad after a loss is normal and natural. This article offers grief management tips, including the use of essential oils, to help you get through this difficult time.
Stages Of Grief
It might help you to understand you are likely to go through stages in dealing with grief. Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross defined five stages:
Shock and denial
Anger and guilt
Adjustment and acceptance
Another model is the seven stages of grief:
Disbelief or shock
Acceptance and hope
However, remember, these stages don't necessarily occur in order, and you may not experience all of them. Take the time you need to deal with your grief in your way and don't let anyone rush you to "just get over it." For more from Kübler-Ross, see On Grief and Grieving.
Grief Management Tips
Here are some grief management tips:
Talk about it. Share your grief and other feelings with friends, family members, minister, rabbi, or spiritual counselor—someone you trust and feel supports you and can listen with compassion. If talking with people in your everyday life is difficult, consider seeing a professional counselor.
Distract yourself with pleasant activities but don't let them become a way to repress your feelings. Let your feelings flow naturally through you. You may let go naturally, or you can get help if you need it.
Get regular massage. Massage increases circulation, which helps the body flush out stress hormones, and increases the secretion of natural mood elevators called endorphins. Massage lets you enjoy much-needed peace and nurturing. Sometimes, massage may provoke tears of sadness, an emotional response that is natural and normal.
Exercise. It has many of the same benefits as massage. Do be gentle and don't push yourself to do too much.
Use essential oils for support during grief. See suggestions in the next section.
If you feel overwhelmed with sadness and sensitive to your environment, find a place that feels safe to you where you can express your feelings. This could be at home, with a formal or informal support group, or in a favorite spot in nature.
Bergamot has a citrus fragrance that is calming and uplifting. Use it if you're feeling agitated, depressed, or sleepless. You can diffuse or directly inhale this oil. Although you can also use bergamot in a massage oil, remember that it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight or UV light for 24 to 48 hours.
Roman chamomile is relaxing. You can use it to help relieve restlessness, anxious feelings, depressed feelings, or sleeplessness. The fragrance may also dissipate anger, stabilize your emotions, and help release emotions linked to the past. You can diffuse this essential oil, inhale it directly, or use it in a massage oil. This oil is safe for small children and the frail elderly.
Juniper support the digestive system and may increase circulation through the kidneys and promote excretion of toxins. The fragrance evokes feelings of health, love, and peace and may help elevate your spiritual awareness. You can directly inhale or diffuse this oil or use it in a massage oil.
Lavender is relaxing and may help relieve pain. It can relieve nervous tension and help you sleep. Lavender balances you both physically and emotionally, and studies suggest this oil improves concentration and mental acuity. You can directly inhale or diffuse this oil or use it in a massage oil.