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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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
•Put a fire in the fireplace
and do some stretching and focus on yourself. (You can add your
favorite soft music to this).
breathe! Full belly. In through the nose, slowly out through
•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.