Emotional Wellbeing

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Ainsley Lawrence

Self-Care Strategies for Grieving: Small Acts of Kindness for Yourself

Self-Care Strategies for Grieving: Small Acts of Kindness for Yourself

Almost everyone will experience grief at some point in their lives. We all go through periods of loss, whether it’s losing a loved one, a job, a pet, or even going through something like a divorce and grieving the life you once had with another person. 


While you’ve probably heard of the stages of grief, there’s no “perfect” timeline for getting through them. The goal is to keep moving forward on your grief journey, and one of the best ways to do that while making sure you’re healthy is to practice self-care.

Boost Your Energy

Have you been feeling tired or fatigued since experiencing your loss? Grieving can contribute to low energy levels, or it could highlight other possible reasons you’re not getting the rest you need, like:


– Sleep Apnea

– Insufficient sleep

– Anemia

– Thyroid disorder

– Dehydration

– Stress and anxiety

– Poor diet


If you’re not taking proper care of yourself while you grieve, some of these issues might start to create bigger problems with your sleep cycle. For example, not maintaining a healthy diet and not drinking enough water might seem like a small thing. But, these actions can cause you to feel fatigued throughout the day, and make it difficult to have the energy to do anything. 


Not getting enough sleep because of worry or sadness can also play a role in your low energy levels. 


Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to boost your energy while taking care of yourself. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, eat healthy meals, and practice better sleep hygiene by going to bed around the same time every night. 


Exercising can also help to boost your energy levels and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health. It reduces stress and boosts endorphins, which can actually make you feel happier and improve your mood. Try to get at least 30 minutes of light exercise every day, and you’re likely to notice your energy improving.

Develop Small Routines

Small daily self-care routines can give you something to look forward to. Plus, they’re easy to incorporate into your life without much effort, and can make a big difference in your mental and physical health. Things like waking up at the same time each morning, eating a healthy breakfast, and going for a 30-minute walk are all wonderful options to include in a wellness routine. Make it work for you and your schedule. 


But, don’t forget to include a few special moments throughout the day. For example, establishing a skin-care routine is a small act of kindness you can give yourself. Purchasing quality skin-care products and treating each night like a spa night before you settle in promotes relaxation, self-compassion, and even a little bit of fun. Consider trying some Japanese beauty products if you’ve never incorporated them into your regimen before. Many of them source high-quality ingredients, use ethical production practices, and have formulas designed to help you see a difference in your skin quickly. Plus, splurging a little on something special can make you feel even more like you’re enjoying some time at a spa from the comfort of home.

Take Time to Work Through Memories

One of the most difficult aspects of grief is having to work through all of the logistics, paperwork, and other procedures that can come with the death of a loved one or a separation. Arranging a celebration of life or handling matters related to inheritance and distribution of the estate can be challenging, especially when balancing a full-time job or working through memories of your loved one. Taking as much time as you need and communicating effectively with your workplace about time off and bereavement policies is essential to ensure that you can appropriately grieve.


Distributing possessions, either in accordance with a will or by claiming items as you work through a divorce, can also be challenging. Taking your time and going through these possessions appropriately, so you can give away what is unneeded and keep any mementos that you treasure, is essential. You may need to pack away items so they can safely be moved, either to your own house, another person in your family, or into a storage unit. Working through this process carefully, and wrapping delicate items, taking the time to protect picture frames, and labeling fragile items as they are moved or shipped can help keep items intact as they are moved to new homes.

Take Care of Your Mind

Self-care practices are about focusing on the wellness of your whole being — not just your body. Grief can have a direct impact on your brain. Your mind can have a hard time fully understanding a deep loss, so nurturing it and “rewiring” your brain is essential if you want to move forward in the grieving process. 

Mindfulness, for example, is a practice that requires you to focus on the present. You can close your eyes, take slow, deep breaths, and use your senses to dive deeper into what’s going on around you at this very moment. You’ll still experience other thoughts in a mindful state, but you’ll let them pass you by so you’re fully present in the moment. 

Journaling is a great way to share your deepest thoughts and feelings, even if you’re not ready to talk to anyone else about them. Sometimes, simply getting something down on paper can feel like a release. Plus, you can use your journal as a way to look back on your grief journey and see how far you’ve come.

One of the best things you can do on your grief journey is to be patient with yourself. Think about how you would treat a friend going through the same thing. You would show them kindness and compassion, and do whatever you could to take care of them. Prioritize that kind of compassion and care for yourself, too, and you’ll have an easier time navigating the waters of grief.

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