Time

Grief demands attention; it takes time to experience and understand feelings of loss. Take time alone when you are fatigued or need space for reflection. Take time with others when you need the support of people whom you trust and who will listen when you need to talk.  Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace.

Rest

Grief is exhausting, emotionally and physically. You need to replenish yourself, and may need extra amounts of things you needed before.  Try to eat regular meals, and maintain an exercise and sleep routine.  It may be helpful to take time off from work or time away from home demands, or to create small getaways like a hot bath or an afternoon nap.

Security

Grief can make you feel vulnerable. Getting back into a routine helps establish a sense of control. Trust the strengths that have helped you face challenges in the past and take pride in each new accomplishment. Allow yourself to be close to those you trust. Be open to practical support from friends, family or professionals.

Hope

Grief can feel endless. You may find hope and comfort from those who have experienced a similar loss.  Learning about things that have helped them and realizing that they have recovered with time offers hope that sometime in the near future your grief will be less raw and painful.

Rear view of friends hugging.

Support

Grief is unpredictable; it can be bewildering to you as well as to those who care about you. Many grieving people are surprised to discover who offers support and who does not; you may find that you have to reach out for the emotional and practical support you need. Or you may have readily available support but are not used to accepting help; try to allow yourself to accept the expressions of caring from others. Sharing with people who have experienced and understand loss or talking with a grief counselor can help you know that you are not alone.

Goals

Grief is overwhelming. During this stressful time, allow yourself to lower your expectations of what you would normally accomplish. It is natural to feel unmotivated at times; pay attention to what does still interest you and let yourself do those things. Set small goals and focus on living one day at a time. As time passes you will notice increased capacity and desire to work on longer range goals.

Small Pleasures

Grief is hard work. Allow yourself to find respite in small pleasures: playing with children or pets, spending time in nature, walking with a friend, watching a good movie, or gardening. Choose activities that renew you and connect you to the people and things you love. Allow yourself to experience moments of happiness when they come.