Rest and Relaxation

Grief is one of life’s greatest stresses. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient and kind with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

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Grief comes in many forms and it is also one of the most stressful events we can experience in our lives.

It’s not surprising, or uncommon that we can often suffer from tension, nervousness and anxiety during the grieving process.

These feelings can even make us feel unwell, stop us from sleeping, interfere with our concentration at work and basically put a lot of strain on our bodies.

Your physical experience of grief may show up in your body in may ways including:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • tight sensation in the throat or chest

We have created some tools and strategies that you can try to help you reduce stress, anxiety and negative emotions, while also taking care of your physical body as you grieve and recover.

Download our infographic below and keep it with you – or share it with a friend who you think may benefit from these strategies.

Download infographic

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a well-known writer on the topic of mindfulness and defines it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.”

Mindfulness has been practiced for centuries as a tool that can address life’s challenges such as depression, anxiety, smoking, overeating, self-esteem, chronic pain and grief.

Healing from grief caused by loss and bereavement in life can be helped with various mindfulness practices. Through mindfulness, we can learn how to face life through each moment, no matter what we are facing – joy, sadness, suffering and grief – without avoiding or stopping the process. 

Mindfulness practices to help support grief can include:

  • Mindful breathing – focusing your attention on your breath as it enters an exits your body with the intention of calming your mind and body while helping to alleviate anxiety and tension. 
  • Meditation – through meditation, we can face our fears of change, physical and emotional suffering and even loss and bereavement, while also living fully and in the present. You may like to try the meditation below.
  • Gratitude and Loving Kindness – practiced as a meditation or journaling, this mindfulness activity involves tuning into self-talk. This is especially helpful for people struggling with self acceptance and critical thinking of their progress through grief.

5-Minutes of Bliss: Breathing and Body Awareness Meditation

Coping with grief isn’t easy. On top of the emotional toll, there are many side effects, including sleeplessness.

Grieving is the process of healing from loss and bereavement, so suffering from insomnia can set us back from our journey to recovery. Not being able to sleep is not only frustrating, it impacts on our immune system, our mood and ability to handle everyday tasks. 

Fortunately, if you are experiencing grief and sleep loss, there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep experience and chances of healthy slumber. It may take some time, but the actions below may help you get there faster:

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 3 pm
  • Create a sleep sanctuary
  • Keep a journal
  • Massage
  • Avoid vigorous exercise after 7 pm
  • Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed
  • Meditation
  • Soothing sounds
  • Listen to a sleep story (try the one below)

Sleep Story: The Canary