5 Self-Care Tips for Grief

By Lannan M. O’Brien

It’s always important to take care of ourselves, but it’s especially important when we’re grieving the loss of a loved one. The pain of grief often manifests physically as well as emotionally, and can take a serious toll on our minds and bodies. Here are a handful of ways we can incorporate self-care into our daily routines to help ourselves heal after loss.

1. Be kind to yourself.

Grief is complicated and painful, and with it comes difficult emotions. As grievers, we often criticize ourselves for where we are versus where we think we “should be” on our grief journeys. Show yourself some kindness and compassion, and know that there is no right way to grieve.

2. Move your body.

Exercise can help release tension and pain in times of stress. Make time in your schedule to take a walk, practice yoga, or engage in some type of physical movement.

3. Practice mindful breathing.

During times of stress, taking deep breaths can help you escape negative thoughts and stay in the present moment. Try practicing deep breathing—inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth—several times throughout the day.

4. Talk to a friend or family member.

Sometimes, you just need a friend to lean on when you’re having a tough time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that person you know will listen and offer support when you need to talk.

5. Get plenty of sleep.

Trouble sleeping is often a symptom of grief—and yet, sleep is extremely important during this painful, emotional journey. Limit caffeine to morning hours, exercise during the day, and avoid screen time before bed to allow yourself a better night’s sleep.


Lannan O'Brien is the digital marketing manager for Sharing Kindness. Lannan is a local freelance writer, editor and social media manager whose work has appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout Massachusetts and New England. In the summer, she also runs a fried seafood truck with her husband, Brian.