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The death of a spouse, parent, sibling, or close friend can cause intense emotional pain, and knowing how to cope with that grief is important for ensuring that the distress does not lead to an unhealthy journey. Culinary Grief Therapy facilitates several coping strategies and techniques to support individuals after the loss of a loved one.
Consider having your meals at a different time of the day, in a different room, or serving foods you typically did not have. Changing routines reduces grief triggers and painful reminders. You do not need to make drastic changes, just simple ones
Cooking is a ritual to honor the loved ones
Cooking is a beautiful way to honor your loved one, remain connected, and share their legacy with other people. Because cooking induces so many sense memories, it enables us to process the grief in a healthy way and achieve closure
Plan ahead for special day
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. These special days are stressful times. Its important remind yourself the anticipation is typically far worse than the actual day. It is important to talk to family members, and develop a plan (start with what you don’t want vs. what you do) to get you through the day
Try to keep a journal or write letters to loved ones. Journaling is a safe way to share powerful, deep rooted emotions that are too difficult to verbalize. Releasing these feelings through the act of writing can be a liberating process which can lighten your emotional burden. Particularly if some of these feelings were left unsaid.
Take your grief temperature
Take a moment to rate how you’re feeling. On a scale of 1 – 10 rate your level of comfort in shopping or cooking for one. Knowing your temperature helps identify grief triggers and foster situational self-awareness
Center your breathing
Loss changes our breathing patterns and makes our respiration more rapid. This, in turn, can trigger waves of grief, racing thoughts or anxiety. Engaging in calming breathing patterns throughout the day can reduce these symptoms
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