This is despite you having shaped and implemented these routines, which provided you comfort and enjoyment, while contributing to positive feelings. Subconsciously, these routines may have given you time out from your daily demands and have added to your sense of wellbeing in the past.
It is very common that when things feel confusing or overwhelming, for a period of time, you may forget these routines. However you can re-connect with them, starting gradually, taking one day at a time, until you build consistency.
What does EAST stand for?
The EAST self-care guide can be adopted to help you connect back to healthy and positive routines to give you a greater sense of balance, wellbeing and mental resilience.
The important aspect of this approach is to ensure that when you do reconnect, you consistently follow these steps every day for a week. Take notice of any positive changes which have occurred as a result of your commitment. As your commitment grows, you are likely to experience increased positive changes and as each week goes by, shifts in your feelings, thoughts and actions.
When you are experiencing grief and loss it is very easy to get out of your normal routine. One of the simplest things that can help is to ensure healthy food is consumed regularly throughout the day along with increasing your water intake to stay hydrated. It may be hard, but try also to limit sugar, alcohol and caffeine (especially at night) as it can help you sleep better.
Restart activities that you enjoyed prior to your current circumstances – including some type of exercise, aiming to stay active for around 30 minutes a day. Put aside time to read or listen to an audiobook, the radio or television, or indulge in an activity which you have been interested in exploring but haven’t had the opportunity to start.
Going to bed at the same time each night will help the body adjust and prepare for a better night’s sleep. Read or listen to an audiobook for fifteen minutes before sleep or try one of the many free sleep story apps available (we explore this further in Tools for rest and relaxation).
Try self-soothing techniques such as meditation, positive reflection or journaling to help ease your mind before bedtime.
You may also like to try our 3-step-guide to dealing with insomnia here on our website.
Schedule events such as time with trusted friends and family. Join a group where you can meet people with similar interests or start a hobby that you may not have had time for in the past.
Some people find during a time of grief that it may feel harder to maintain connections with the outside world or even feel positive about themselves – they may lose sight of their strengths, the exceptions to these feelings of grief and loss.
The EAST self-care approach can help you reconnect with the part of yourself that is connected to hope. It can help to increase your wellbeing, especially during this time of uncertainty and confusion.
Whatever the situation, you can also reach out to a counsellor or a Griefline helpline support person to work with you on what you have experienced in the past or are presently experiencing. You can also tap into the Griefline Online Forums for peer-to-peer support and understanding.