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.

Some Quick Tips for Self Care While Grieving

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

• Designate an afternoon or evening and put your cell phone away.

• 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 music 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.

By Chris Rothman, Ph.D