• When we think of self-care in grief it may not automatically make sense. How can we take care of ourselves when grief is so overpowering? It’s easy to leave ourselves for last, to focus on our children, on our jobs, on our loss. It may even feel unnatural to think of ways to love ourselves more, but grieving takes a tremendous toll on our minds and body. Like they say on flights, you have to put your mask on first before helping someone else.

    In this article we will explore different strategies that can be used to reduce stress, anxiety, and help ground ourselves when feeling overwhelmed by complicated emotions.

  • The silence that comes with losing a loved one can be overwhelming and uncomfortable for many. Not just those who experienced the loss, but family and friends attempting to provide support during grief. How then can we connect with those grieving a loss in silence? Here are some recommendations to keep in mind as you seek to support those suffering.

  • It is natural to ask yourself "what if" after a loss. Traumatic or sudden losses can amplify thoughts and feelings of grief. When the past becomes your primary focus, it can leave you feeling stuck in your grief and deter healing, potentially leading to depression and anxiety.

  • The Holiday Season is sometimes difficult and often filled with emotional stressors, even during the best of times. For those of us who have suffered the death of a loved one, the holidays may seem especially complicated and can be filled with ambivalence and mixed emotions. Anticipation of a new experience, like the first holiday after a death, or familiar rituals that remind us of our loved ones, can be overwhelming.

    Many bereaved families have found unique, and meaningful, ways of remembering their loved one during the holiday season. Here are some ideas which have helped others and may provide additional support.

  • It is natural for many people to place certain expectations on what the experience of loss should be or what grief should look like. There may be a sense of relief that comes from predicting what is next or when the painful emotions will subside; however, most of us are unprepared for what the grieving process holds.

  • As you work through the grief you feel after the loss of a loved one, you may encounter some situations where you choose to disclose your loss. No matter where you are in your grief process, these moments may be emotional.

  • A sudden loss can occur due to accidents, illness, homicides, suicides, and other forms of unexpected loss. These tragedies can leave the griever in a state of shock and confusion. There may also be many unanswered questions and, in many cases, trauma surrounding the loss. As you process the sudden loss of a loved one, there are some strategies that you might find beneficial in helping you to heal.

  • Parents and caregivers often need support themselves when caring for children after a loss.  In responding to a loss or crisis, whether it’s a death, natural disaster, violence, or trauma children and their families can benefit from the following information as a guide for conversation, and support, during times of need.

  • The changes and challenges that come following the death of a loved one can make it difficult to focus on obtaining the support needed. However, it is this support that can provide a guiding light as we make it through the darkest moments in our grief. Seeking out support can be overwhelming and confusing as you try to make the best decision for yourself and your family. Below, we provide some simple tips to demystify the process and help you choose the right grief support for you. 

  • Grief impacts us in powerful ways as we experience our loved one’s loss. It is natural to think of the emotional impacts of grief after a loss, however, just as important are the physical changes that can occur as we grieve. Physical grief responses vary greatly from individual to individual and can happen at different intensity levels during the grieving process.

  • This period marks one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic. For many over the past year, the grief following the death of a loved one has been amplified by secondary losses experienced during this time. COVID restrictions, job loss, isolation, and health concerns have led to loss of connection to those nearest and has a greatly impacted one’s grief experience. Processing the impacts of these secondary losses can allow room for healing. Below are some tips that can be useful as you reflect back on this past year.

  • Mourning the loss of a loved one can impact both the individual and community. The experience of a tragic loss, including those due to homicide, suicide, and, most recently, COVID-19, often leaves communities grieving and attempting to understand the tragedy. Though each community has different needs, levels of support, and relationships between its residents, some fundamental strategies can help individuals and families begin the healing process while also joining together with others in the community.

  • The loss of a loved one can leave us in a difficult emotional space that many of us often wish to avoid. Grief can throw us into moments of shock, destabilization, and confusion, which heighten and confront us with our own vulnerability. For many, vulnerability is a frightening word as it is often associated with reliance on others and fears of others not meeting our needs.

  • As we approach 2021, the understandable desire to fast-forward through our grief and have a “clean slate” can create pressure and self-criticism about our desire to “get over” the multiple losses we have experienced this year. Whether the loss of your loved one is recent or several years ago, it is important to remember that there is no timeline for grief.

  • As we enter the holiday season, November can be emotional for those grieving the death of a loved one and especially difficult due to COVID-19. Finding gratitude and thanks this Thanksgiving season can seem more challenging than ever. Our November article provides some tips and strategies to help navigate Thanksgiving without your loved one in the hope of alleviating some of the sadness you may feel.

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