11 Aug Nurturing Our Hearts: Taking Care of Ourselves Through Grief
Written by Amanda Brindle, LSW, SUDC Foundation Associate Manager of Family Services
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
The journey of child loss and grief is like riding the waves of the ocean. As we observe Self-Care Awareness Month, encouraging self-care and acquiring techniques that help soothe our souls are important companions on the path to healing. These skills will increase resiliency and provide moments of comfort amidst our pain.
Grief is much like the ebb and flow of those waves – it comes and goes. Within these fluctuating emotions, we can find strength and healing by treating ourselves gently. Self-care isn’t about erasing our pain, but rather about making room for our feelings while seeking solace.
Think of self-care as a warm embrace for your heart. It’s a way of showing ourselves love, honor, and tenderness, especially when our emotions threaten to overwhelm us. These simple acts can be incredibly powerful as we navigate the journey of healing.
Practical Tips for Self-Care and Comfort:
- Embracing Our Emotions: Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions arise. Let yourself cry, remember, and experience each feeling, knowing they’re all part of your unique path.
- Creating a Cozy Sanctuary: Design a nurturing space where you can retreat when seeking tranquility. Fill it with things that bring you joy and comfort.
- Deep Breathing: In moments of emotional turbulence, practice deep breathing. Inhale slowly for a count of four, hold for four, and exhale for four. This simple technique can help bring a sense of calm.
- Mindful Moments: Engage in mindfulness by fully immersing yourself in the present. Take pleasure in sensory experiences – admire the world around you, listen to the sounds of nature, feel different textures, savor flavors mindfully, and breathe in soothing scents. These sensory connections ground you in the moment and enhance your well-being.
- Heartfelt Journaling: Writing in a journal can take many forms – from self-discovery to gratitude, creative expression to tracking goals, capturing dreams to organizing tasks, and practicing mindfulness. All these avenues foster personal growth and self-expression in a space free of judgment.
- Honoring Precious Memories: Craft a memory box or journal to celebrate your child’s life. Fill it with mementos, photos, and stories that pay tribute to their presence.
- Nature’s Comforting Embrace: Spend time outdoors and allow nature’s beauty to soothe your spirit. A leisurely walk in the park or a moment under a tree can bring you peace.
In the intricate tapestry of self-care, these comforting techniques weave through the process of confronting our loss and seeking renewal. Grief doesn’t follow a straight path, and these tools can be guiding lights through the complexity of our feelings.
As we embrace Self-Care Awareness Month, always remember that you deserve moments of tenderness and self-compassion. Self-care and self-soothing aren’t magical fixes, but they can lead you toward glimpses of comfort, resilience, and a path of healing.