Experiencing a loved one’s death can conjure up some of our darkest emotions: sadness, fear, anger, and anxiety. These emotions can add on to the stress you are already facing, triggering the brain to release more cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Too much stress can affect your mood, sleep and health.

And if you’re in charge of making the funeral arrangements, this difficult time can become overwhelming, especially when you may already be under immense pressure to make decisions quickly. While there are funeral service providers that can help with this daunting task, knowing how you can manage your stress can help you face this mighty challenge.

1. Give yourself a moment

Planning and arranging for funeral services can be an emotionally tough process. Give yourself permission to step away every now and then to breathe, walk and spend time with your loved ones. Studies have found that taking breaks can help to reduce and prevent stress, allowing you to maintain performance throughout the day. You are also returning your mental functional systems to their baseline, thus resetting your mood and promoting positive well-being.

This can be greatly helpful towards helping you focus on details of the funeral arrangement. Emotional stress can take a toll on your mental health, so taking a break can provide you with a clearer mind and better organisation to jump back into your preparations.

2. Talk to someone

 Keeping your emotions bottled up inside creates stress. In other words, letting out how you feel helps to get it out of your system and encourages you to process them. It is similar to the pressure cooker analogy: if the lid isn’t opened periodically, steam can build up. When it comes to feelings that are suppressed “under the lid”, this will make you feel even more stressed.

Seek out a loved one, someone from a support group or even a professional to talk about your grief and pain. If you have a family member who is experiencing the same loss, talking can help you bond with them as you work through your feelings. Otherwise, you risk marinating in those feelings and make your grieving process harder – on the other hand, sharing your negative emotions with someone you trust can be profoundly healing.

3. Ask for a helping hand

Perhaps you might think that asking for help is a sign of weakness – that you are admitting your inadequacy in some way. You don’t wish for anyone to see that you’re struggling, but rather remain in control to handle the funeral preparations. Change your beliefs and expectations; refusing to ask for help is counter-productive. When you can’t get the tasks done well or on time, this might only serve to knock your confidence further.

In fact, asking for help is a responsible thing for yourself and others. When you can get things done in the right manner with someone’s help, you get to achieve the ideal outcome of your tasks at hand. Assign trusted loved ones to assist in any funeral arrangement details to relieve you of feeling overwhelmed and ensure the process goes smoothly as possible.

4. Remember why you’re doing it

Whether it’s a Buddhist funeral or a non-religious ceremony, you’re planning a service to honour and pay tribute to a loved one. Refrain from putting yourself under unnecessary pressure for funeral plans to be perfect. Plan from the heart and take comfort in knowing that you only have the purest intentions to create a funeral experience that is fitting for a dignified farewell.