As you make your way through the grieving process after losing your spouse, others may say to you, “Take care of yourself.”

But what does that really mean?

Taking care of yourself is a way to put yourself first with self-love.

It’s a necessary step towards healing, especially when there’s been a major loss in your life.

If you’re not used to putting yourself first, then try these suggestions:

Turn off your phone to enjoy quiet time. During that time, try meditation.

Distract your mind. Find a good book to become absorbed in the plot and characters. It’ll give you a break from all the stress you’re feeling.

Pay attention to the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). Recognizing these stages will make it easier for you to cope with your emotions. You’ll be more pragmatic when dealing with your inner thoughts.

Write down how you feel. When you put pen to paper, it’s therapeutic. For this reason, many people journal daily. No one needs to read your journal; therefore, you can be brutally honest about your emotions.

Take a break from your typical responsibilities, even if it’s helping your adult children. Removing yourself from your daily routines will give you time to address your feelings and heal.

Losing a spouse is very difficult. Be patient with yourself as you go through the different stages of grief.

Also, focus on yourself by doing things to take care of yourself – give yourself lots of self-love.

It won’t end the pain you feel from losing your spouse, but it will help you move forward.

(Update to original post from May 24, 2018)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”