I have been aware since the beginning that physical comforts help with grieving. I tend to chill when I am very emotional or scared. I no longer have a bathtub but a hot shower, while crying, works wonders. I have a hot water bottle for bed along with Toe Warmers and wooly socks that I purchased at Amazon.
Getting sleep is absolutely crucial. Without it I go down very fast. I found that outdoor time, particularly things like raking leaves, pulling weeks, going for walks help me sleep. Add to that a wonderful weighted blanket (I got a 15# one) and then I usually sleep well. If that is not enough I have low dose Gabapentin from my doctor. I am not a coffee drinker and that helps. I bought some wonderful, softest ever sheets from Amazon, for $30 a set--yes really!. They are so lovely and soft that I am replacing all the sheets in the house with these. One of my students got me a TV pillow made of fake sheep's wool from Bed and Bath. I bought 3 pair of my favorite pajamas. I keep my bedroom cheerful and clean with books at my side. Can you tell how important sleep is to me?
I love junk food, but my body is not happy with that. I have found some healthy and delicious desserts I keep in the freezer when tempted. A chocolate tofu pudding is rich and yet my blood sugar does not rise if I eat it in the evening. I have a good recipe for oatmeal, cranberry, almond protein bars that taste like a firm cobbler and freeze individual portions. I mixed 5 kinds of fresh/frozen fruits in a freezer container, scoop out a cupful and microwave to eat with breakfast. I pre-make several non-lettuce (can add later if I want) veggie salads every few days so they are easy to grab. Uncooked carrots shredded, diced fresh tomatoes, and broccoli form the base. I often add sweet onion, green peppers, frozen peas, corn, soybeans, or snow peas and leafy greens. I then top with a few croutons and delicious salad dressing. One or two of these per day helps me get my veggies. I was also not drinking enough liquids so I have a cup of decaf tea the minute I get to work and then fill a large water bottle to keep on my desk or by my reading chair at home. I have learned to bake up healthy meals and freeze small portions. I love the GlassLock brand containers from Amazon and bought many sizes, including the baby food sizes to freeze small bits of things like gravies, leftovers, etc. I am wasting much, much less this way.
I am also affected emotionally by my surroundings. Yes, my Christmas tree is still up because the lights in the evening help so much. Battery operated candles, tiffany style lamps all over the house. I am really into the hygge concept and make sure wooly slippers and a fuzzy blanket is always nearby.
Keeping the house clean and organized goes a long, long way to fighting depression for me.
I have also invested in a few small works of art that make me happy when I look at them. I have a craft room that helps too. I also invested in a small rolling iPad cart for next to my recliner. Holds my remote, a book, a cup of tea, and my iPad and journal. The remote connects me to old classics like The Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore, Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Lucy that gently distract me.
I also am not ashamed to admit that I have gotten very attached to the softest, weighted, white stuffed polar bear that I got in Leavenworth last Christmas season. It is simply comforting and feels a bit like my little dog that I am still deeply grieving. The bear is Jelly Cat from London brand and worth every cent I paid. Amazon now has them too in many animals but the bear is by far the softest one.
All this and a cozy, safe house, with family just a couple of houses a way, allows me to feel safe and physically comforted.