7 Everyday, Easy-to-Tackle Activities That Can Help Manage Grief
When you’re living through a season of grief, it can be difficult to get through the days—especially at first. It’s helpful to know some everyday, simple activities that you can do to help manage your grief.
Building these practices into your daily routine can carry you through hard times and might even help you heal along the way.
Wondering about some of the habits and practices you can take up in the aftermath of a loved one’s death? Let’s take a look at a few options.
1. Take a Walk or Get Exercise
Exercise is a powerful tool for helping people cope with grief, depression, and anxiety. Studies have proven this time and time again.
Moving your body releases feel-good endorphins that, for some people, may help to lift the mood and the spirit. Consider getting your body moving, going outside, or engaging in a workout you enjoy to help you cope with intense feelings of grief.
Having regular exercise times throughout the week can help you get out of the house. That change of scenery is especially important when you’re dealing with grief.
Exercising also renews focus and the feeling that there’s something in your life that you can control, in addition to improving your quality of rest.
Don’t push yourself too hard at first. Explore forms of exercise that you enjoy, and that make your body and mind feel good. Whether you take up yoga, walking, HIIT, kickboxing, or another physical activity, the important thing is to find what makes you feel nurtured and lean into it.
2. Cook a Good Meal
When you take good care of your body, you will feel better from one day to the next. Grief can do strange things to our bodies, like killing our appetites or causing us to crave junk foods that can make us feel even worse. Take time to combat this by choosing a meal you love that makes your body feel good.
The repetitive, routine nature of cooking can help alleviate anxiety and focus your mind as you fall into the rhythm of working in the kitchen.
It gives us a chance to engage in mindfulness, which can be grounding in times of uncertainty. It can force us to be present as we process the colors, feel the texture, watch the careful motion of the knife, smell the aromas and finally indulge in the rich tastes.
Cooking can help us process our memories or pay homage to a loved one we’ve lost. There are even services available, such as Culinary Grief Therapy, that have been found to potentially reduce, or even prevent, complicated grief.
3. Go to Lunch with a Friend
Or dinner. Or drinks. Or coffee. Or the movies.
Whatever it is, spending time with supportive friends can help you through the healing process. Knowing you’re not alone and that someone is there for you during this difficult time can make all the difference in your healing journey.
Getting out and talking to someone who loves you is so important, whether you’re looking to take your mind off what’s happening or you want to process your feelings with someone you trust.
The socialization and support of good friends is so important to moving through the grief process. Keep in mind that you might have to ask your friends for help and tell them what you need so they can give you the best possible support.
4. Sit Outside & Soak Up the Sun
Get out in the sunshine--with SPF, of course--and soak up that much-needed vitamin D. Spend time outside in nature, in a calm environment, meditating and enjoying the warmth of the sun on your skin.
While nature itself has healing properties, getting plenty of vitamin D from both the sun and a healthy diet could help you feel a greater sense of wellbeing. While research is needed, some scientists believe that vitamin D may help with mental wellbeing, and could potentially alleviate depression.
5. Indulge in Fiction
Immersing yourself in a fictional world, whether a great movie or a feel-good book, can help you focus on something other than the grief you’re experiencing.
Books and podcasts can give you something to look forward to day by day, because they’re something positive to set your mind on. Fiction allows you to lose yourself in something else for a while, which is a much-needed escape when you’re living through such a painful season.
6. Start Journaling
If you’re working with a therapist (which we always recommend), then they’ll likely recommend journaling to help you process your grief. Start by taking ten minutes each day to write your thoughts down. Writing can help tremendously as you move through the grieving process.
Journaling has been found to alleviate symptoms of depression, PTSD, and prolonged grief disorder according to Death Studies. Subjects were asked to journal for 20 minutes per day for several months to process the grief they were experiencing.
Don’t restrict what you allow yourself to write. You can journal about anything: The podcast you’re listening to, a cute puppy you saw on your walk, that great movie you just watched, or the grief that feels overwhelming. Either way, it helps to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper or a screen.
7. Crank Up the Tunes
Music can be cathartic, immersing, and can help us cope with the grieving process. Some music can boost positive emotions.
A good song or album can help occupy the mind while filling the home with sound to keep the environment from feeling too quiet.
Music therapy is a service that’s tailored specifically to healing through music, and it can be helpful for resolving grief, too.
Grief shatters our world when we lose someone we love. It’s up to us to find ways to pick up and pieces and continue moving forward. Sometimes, forward motion means learning new habits that help us get through the day-to-day.
Practices such as exercise, cooking nourishing meals, time with friends, time in nature, indulging in fictional worlds, journaling, and listening to music can all be instrumental in helping us move through the stages of the grief process.
If you’re going through this season right now, we hope these tips will help make this season a little bit easier to bear.
Remembrance gifts give us something tangible to keep nearby that reminds us of our loved one who has passed on. With a variety of gifts to accommodate different types of loss, The Comfort Company has something to soothe you in your time of loss. Click here to explore our store now.