Self-Care in the Spiral of Mourning

Allow Yourself Care

Everyone knows that grief comes unbidden. The common belief is that thoughts always precede feelings, however, when you are grieving, you may not even be thinking about your beloved and suddenly there will be a sight, a sound or a smell that will instantly trigger your grief. So, be Aware when you are in this place of grief. Allow yourself to cry, wail, or sink down. This is self-care because you are allowing and accepting your feelings. You are not pushing them down afraid that feeling will open an emotional flood that will never end. (If you are in the office, the classroom, the boardroom where you simply cannot emote, clench your fist to remind yourself to return to this feeling. Then actually do it.) When the feelings lessen, stop, take a breath and use your power of choice. Notice what the trigger was that sparked your grief. It may be a beautiful sunset, the smell of hot coffee or the sound of a plane. Without judgement, write it down.

Taking Care Creates a Map

Purchase a little spiral notebook or a pocket journal. If that is not in your budget, simply take some sheets of paper, fold them in fours and keep them with you. Every time something triggers this profound sense of grief, write it down. Describe the sound and where it came from – behind, above, in front of you. What smell elicited the deep sadness? What did you see resulting in this grief? The next time you spiral down into mourning, look at your map, noticing patterns, gives yourself the support you need for the grief process.


Literally Taking a Step Back is Self-Care

The third thing you can do to get psychological air from the spiral of mourning when you have that overwhelming feeling of grief, is to literally take a step back. If you are standing or sitting in a chair, move. Feel your feet as you are walking. We are dynamic beings. Movement is life.


Remember these 3 Self-Care Tips:

  1. Allow your feelings in the moment.
  2. Map the sights, smells and sounds that trigger your grief.
  3. Give yourself psychological air by moving.

Compete the Grief Assessment or send your grieving sister, mother or friend here. I will personally reply.

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  • Wendy Hein

    I finally faced going through my son’s things this weekend. I’ve moved twice since he died and I haven’t opened the cardboard boxes with the description “Rileys room” written across the front by the professional movers. I was afraid of the grief I knew would devour me with each opening. I found his teddy bear that I gave him as a baby and he slept with it until 2 months before he died at 16. He gave it to his girlfriend, his first and only love, for protection. I didn’t know he gave it away until after his funeral when she returned “special bear”to us. I sobbed for an hour finding him but it was cathartic, now “SB” sitting next to Rileys ashes on his altar. I do feel I came through some constricting tunnel of fear and grief opening those boxes containing the stuff of his brief life. But it was also a reminder how rich and and full and beautiful those 16 years were with my amazing son, Riley

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