Tips for difficult or significant days when grieving

There are days when the fog of grief is heavy, and the way forward may feel hidden. There are times, moments, days, or sometimes longer when overwhelm visits. This may be prompted by a day or significance – or just a tough day.

– Take a few deep… slow… calming… breaths

You see when we take those deep breaths, it slows down our heart and our mind follows. Even if it is for a short time, we get that respite. The more we practice, the more natural and easier it comes to us.

Have a plan

Having that plan reminds us that we have a measure of control. It may be small, but it’s something and when we are grieving a loss it often feels that there is much out of our control.

That plan might be to ask a friend or companion to be beside us during a difficult time.

It could be rehearsing saying our loved one’s name out loud.

The plan might be a phone call to someone who can listen with support and compassion

Many find it helpful to map out the day or break it down into much smaller, more manageable portions of time. For instance, the afternoon, an hour, even the next few minutes.

– Know that however you feel is alright

There is no need to judge your feelings.
Feelings, and emotions are simply gauges that indicate to us what is happening within.

Sad, nostalgic, joyful, or something else. There are absolutely no rules that say you must feel a specific way as you move through grief.

As you accept your feelings, you are more easily able to process and move through them. Or embrace and expand them if they feel good for you.

– Take a bit of exercise

It may be a walk or run outside. Yoga, stretching, lifting weights, or something different. It’s really about what feels good for you. Moving our body helps to move our thoughts, shift our perspective, and release those endorphins.

– Do something kind or thoughtful for someone else

It may seem counterintuitive when we are struggling to reach out to another to offer kindness or support, but it’s powerful. It reminds us that we matter, that we can make a difference in the world that matters.

There is research that shows each time we do something for another, whether it be a gesture or even a loving word, our serotonin levels rise. This is even more of a win-win than you might imagine. Because we benefit, the one who we reach out to benefits, and even those who witness or hear about the kindness experience a rise in serotonin.

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