Self-care for grievers

Self-care for grievers

Here we give self-care ideas that have been gathered from people we have previously supported.

* Take a walk:  Hike in the woods, on a local nature trail, or around your local area.  The exercise will do you good and you never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet.

* Take a nap:  The National Sleep Foundation says a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.

* Smile: Did you know the simple act of smiling (even without a reason) can make you feel happy?

* Read:  A 2009 study showed that it took participants only six minutes to relax once they started reading.  For the purposes of stress relief we suggest you forgo info heavy texts for a good novel or self-help books.

* Play: What is play?  It’s any purposeless kind of fun. 

* Get a few minutes of fresh air and sunlight

* Have a good cry: Supposedly stress-related tears help the body rid itself of nasty cortisol (aka the stress hormone) raising chemicals.

* Engage in a game or activity that requires focus:  jogsaws, crosswords, sudoko or crafts are all great ways to do something different.

* Plan a night out with friends: Go to your favorite restaurant, see a show, or attend a sporting event.

* Establish a better work/life balance:  Here’s how to stop work overload with a few simple boundaries.

* Breathe:


* Listen to your favorite music playlist:  Music can have a positive impact on both our physical and emotional health, from reducing the perceived intensity of pain to relieving symptoms of depression.  

* Go somewhere that makes you feel at ease

*Spring clean: You can donate any unwanted items to the YBTC charity shop 

Take stock of your support system: Who can you count on and how?

* Look through old photographs

* Have one-on-one time with your children (that means one child at a time)

* Watch funny you tube videos or a comedy show or film on TV

* Have some self-compassion

* Plan a weekend getaway

* Treat yourself to a day of relaxation: Not a fan of the spa?  Relax at home

* Try a new hobby, like: PhotographJournalingScrapbooking or Cooking/baking

* Make your annual doctors and dentist appointments (I know groan, but good health is a part of good self-care).

* Cross something off of your bucket list, if you don't have one - make one!

* Get into an exercise routine

* Detox! Cut back on your alcohol intake

* Get Creative: Be creative

* Join a support group: Among other benefits, support groups can help you gain a sense of empowerment and feel less lonely. The YBTC Bereavement Support Group may be just the thing for you to meet people who understand

* Seek grief support: contact us on 0113 340 0111 or email We are here for you

* Healthy eating: Make a plan to start eating healthy

Then go eat a piece of chocolate and pour yourself a cup of coffee

* Get on the floor and play with your kids (or pet)

* Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts

* Better yet, try a warm shower or a bubble bath

See a counsellor or therapist: YBTC have qualified counsellors that you can access

* Visit your place of worship and spend time in prayer

* Join a club or group of any kind: There’s benefit in joining any group that gathers around something you like – camera clubs, choirs, widower happy hours, etc.

* Volunteer your time

* Don’t let things hang over your head: Either do them or choose not to let not getting them done stress you out. 

* Sing at the top of your lungs: Research has shown that singing is like a tranquilizer that both soothes your nerves and makes you feel happy.

* Dance with reckless abandon

* Open your windows

Allow yourself a day of unapologetic sulking

* Retail Therapy – Is it real??  Pssh…who cares? 

* Sttttrrreeeetttccchhhh:  Here’s a guide to 10 basic stretches

Spend time in a place where you feel close to your deceased loved one(s)

* Play a sport: Play by yourself or join a local team

* Take a yoga class

Find ways to make your workday healthier

Phone an old friend

* Throw your plans out the window and spend a few days schedule-free

Practice deep breathing

* Go for a drive

* Limit the time you spend on the Internet and Social Media

Listen to music

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