Having a conversation with a loved one about their preferences for their end-of-life care can be a truly rewarding and positive experience, but it can also be emotionally draining. What you do after the conversation is just as important as what you do before or during. If you’re planning on having a conversation with a loved one consider trying one of these five ways to care for yourself post conversation. Even if the conversation ends in all smiles!
The conversation can bring up a lot of emotions and memories so it’s a really good idea to debrief! Talk to a friend, a loved one or therapist after you’ve had the conversation regardless of whether it was a particularly difficult or easy interaction. Don’t try to deal with the emotional aftermath on your own.
Have you ever heard of the cuddle hormone? When you hug (or receive a hug) from a loved one, a powerful, calming hormone called oxytocin is released. Cuddlers rejoice! You now have a scientific reason for seeking a cuddle after a stressful day or event.
Go for a run or a walk. Do yoga. Let the endorphins from physical exercise help clear your mind and relieve any stress you might be experiencing post conversation. Remember to choose a physical activity that you actually like doing. Not everyone loves spin class.
After you’ve had the conversation find a private a space to pray or meditate. You’ll be in a much better place emotionally to tackle whatever adversities may come your way if you’re functioning at your best.
Having the conversation is a starting place that might make you realize you have some work to do to get your affairs in order. Whether its reaching out to loved ones to mend relationships, laying out your finances, designating a health care proxy, creating a will, or making a plan for your burial, take the necessary steps to get the ball rolling. We’ve heard stories of friends making a day of it – formulating a plan, laughing and crying, and making it a celebration about life.