After you suffer the death of a loved one, you feel like you’re living in a fog. You go through the motions, but it’s almost as if someone else is living your life while you stand by and watch. Nothing you do feels natural – working, laughing, your daily routine. The truth is, you don’t have to live like this for long. You can take your life back as you work through your grief, but it’s up to you to actively take steps to do that. Here are 4 ideas to help you reconnect with life after the death of a loved one.

Don’t Turn Down Invitations – Even If You Don’t Feel Like Going

When you’re grieving, your natural reaction to an invitation is probably going to be to say no. Going to social gatherings just doesn’t seem right. Whether you don’t feel sociable, you feel guilty enjoying yourself while you’re grieving, or you just don’t want to, push yourself to go anyway. The change of pace could be just the thing you need to bring you back to some sense of normalcy, even if it’s just for a few hours.

Pick up a New Hobby

Grief has a tendency to make us hibernate. It’s much easier to lock ourselves indoors and watch TV as a release from the reality of the loss that we’ve incurred. While that’s okay occasionally, it’s better to find something to do that is engaging and forces you out of the house. If you already have a hobby that you enjoy, get even more into it. If you don’t have a hobby, find one. Anyone can find something that interests them. Find a hobby that you enjoy so that you have something to look forward to every day and a way to take your mind off of your loss.

Get Involved

When you’re ready, find a way to get involved with your church, at work or your kid’s school. The extra responsibility will help to give you a sense of purpose and direction if you’re feeling lost following the death of your loved one.

Reconnect with Friends

We all have forgotten friends who have fallen by the wayside over the years. Losing a loved one can help us to see just how important good friendships are. Take this opportunity to call up your old high school or college friends and rekindle those friendships that were once so strong. You can never have too many friends or too big of a support system, especially when you’re grieving.

You’re the only one who can decide when you’re ready to reconnect with life after the death of your loved one. When you’re ready to take your life back, you’re going to have to actively take steps to pull yourself out of the fog and back into the rich, meaningful life you are meant to live.