Chicago Counselor at The Center for Grief Recovery Chicago Counselor at The Center for Grief Recovery

And all subsided in the hush
that followed, in the calm
of great wings folding
and shadowy forms lying down.

I rose and left that room,
the house of my grief
and my bondage, my book
never again to be opened.

To see as once I saw,
steadied by the darkness
in which I walked
and would make my way.

John Haines

Home   < Grief Recovery Articles   < Comfort Quickies: Self Care While Grieving

Comfort Quickies: Self Care While Grieving

Chris Rothman, Ph.D.

During grieving, it is common to need breaks from our emotions.  This in no way dishonors the seriousness of our concerns and the memories of our loved one.  These ideas may give you some added nourishment to respond to the stress that comes with grieving.

• Lie in the sun streaming in through your windows. Bathe, breathe in the sun.

• Designate an afternoon or evening and take the phone off the hook.

• When you are worried or obsessing, set up a specific time of the day to "worry" for 20 minutes.  Set a timer.  When time is up, do something rewarding for yourself.

• Do something you're good at.  It is important to ground yourself in your skills and abilities, even if the outcome isn't up to par (trouble concentrating and decreased zest are common in grief).

• Comfort yourself by taking a warm bath using your favorite scents, and burn aroma therapy candles—it's invigorating and relaxing at the same time.

• Buy yourself or your loved one a gift—and have the clerk gift wrap it.  Choose the prettiest paper and bow.  Celebrate fond memories.

• Wrap up in a warm blanket.  Put on relaxation tapes and sip on your favorite tea or hot chocolate!

• Dressed in comfortable clothing, find a rocking chair and "rock your troubles away."

• Play music that matches your mood.  Feel understood by the songs and singers that share your experiences.

• Especially when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, forget about making "to do" lists, and at the close of each day, make your list of "what's been done."  No wonder you're tired!

• Burn Russian amber or sandalwood incense.

• Find something alive to care for:  plants, pets, fish, etc.

•Eat at least one nourishing meal each day, even if the food doesn't hit your taste buds like you're used to.

•Put a fire in the fireplace and do some stretching and focus on yourself.  (You can add your favorite soft music to this).

•Breathe—really breathe!  Full belly.  In through the nose, slowly out through the mouth.

•Say "No" to something...(and "Yes" to yourself).

•Try gentle exercise like yoga, tai chi, or walking.

•Spend some time in nature.  Hug a tree!

•Make a memory box, collage, or journal to store your thoughts and memories.


Copyright, 2010

The Center is expanding.

Center for Grief Recovery and Therapeutic Services has immediate openings for two full-time licensed psychologists. Click here for more information

The Center is expanding. Click here to for more about our newest clincial professional counselor, Elizabeth Cerven

New Groups

The Center is now taking names for new Healing Our Losses Group. See attached flyer and FAQ for detailed info. Contact Us by phone or email to find out more.

New Workshops
Center colleague Allan Schnarr, MDiv, PhD offering new CHANGE OF HEART . . . . Vulnerability and Self-transcendence workshop . . . [read more]

Center colleague Allan Schnarr, MDiv, PhD offering new "TRANSFORMING LOVE - Creativity as a way of new life" workshop . . . [read more]

News and Events
Thank You! Our 30th Anniversary celebration was a hit. To read more, click on this link.

Center Grief Recovery celebrates 30 Years with Open House Fundraiser. To learn more, click on this link.

We are excited to announce that Paul Martin, PsyD has become the Center's assistant director. To learn more about Paul's practice click on this link.

The Center Expands Again! Please join us in welcoming Megan Kelleher, LCSW who comes to us with wonderfully empathic presence, and a broad range of helping skills. You can learn more about her by visiting our Therapists section or clicking on this link.

Community Walk for Grief Support: Celebrating 25 Years of Transformation
The Center celebrated its 25th year anniversary with a fund raiser walk in Rogers Park, Chicago on June 4.
[read more]

New Articles

New interview on ideas for what to say and do to support the bereaved, by the Center's Meg Kelleher, LCSW. [read here]

Pain Bonds Us - I feel close to you when you let your pain show. A protective shield inside me slides away. [read more]

Private Practice: Dynamic Psychotherapy and Bereavement Counseling (CEU) [read more]

You Know Therapy Is Working When . . . - You feel increasingly uncomfortable with the status quo when it is causing harm. [read more]

Ideas About Mourning - For the griever the future feels shattered; everything hoped for is broken and gone/ lost like a broken mirror. [read more]

Myths and Realities of Mourning - Regrettably, our society maintains a host of unrealistic assumptions and inappropriate expectations when it comes to the work of grief and mourning. Here are some myths to consider: [read more]

The Difference Between Grief and Mourning - It is critical to know the difference between grief and mourning. Both processes are there to help the bereaved face the reality that their loved one is gone and then to slowly begin to accommodate to that fact. [read more]


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