How to Grieve Mindfully
It’s a feeling we all experience at some point in life, and it doesn’t always connect to the loss of a loved one through death – it can apply to just about any feeling of loss that registers as overwhelming or unmanageable.
Simply put, grief is an emotional response to loss.
And many of us have experienced the sensation of grief within the last year, facing the loss of jobs, events, experiences, relationships, and even people. It may even feel like we lost an entire year, thanks to COVID-19 and its vast effect on our life as a whole.
And while grief is not a one-size-fits-all experience – everyone must go through their own grieving process in their own way – there are methods you can apply to grieve more mindfully. In other words, even though grief is painful, there are ways you can grow and learn from the experience itself.
If you’ve been feeling low, lost in grief, this article will gently guide you toward an approach that might make the process a bit easier – something you can grow and learn from.
How to Grieve Mindfully
It doesn’t matter what you’ve lost. A feeling of emptiness or pain within can make it hard to get through the day. Even if you’re sensing this feeling of grief in conjunction with the last year, your pain still matters, it counts, and it deserves your attention.
And learning to grieve mindfully may be just what you need right now to help you get back on track. Let’s look at a few things you can do to make the process feel gentler and more therapeutic.
1. Own & Accept Your Feelings
One thing that won’t make feelings of grief go away is pretending they aren’t there. It’s okay to feel how you feel, and acknowledging your emotions is essential for ensuring that they don’t take control. This means no judgment, no denial, and no being hard on yourself.
Just experience the emotions inside, acknowledge that they’re there, and do your best to identify them.
2. Prepare for Mood Swings
Grief doesn’t just suddenly go away one day – there are different stages, and you’ll likely experience many emotions throughout the day when processing feelings of grief.
This is perfectly normal, and it’s essential that you don’t try to suppress these emotions.
Instead, remind yourself that there will be ups and downs, and try to find comfort in that balance. When you’re feeling down, try to remember that there will be feelings of happiness and peace in the future – even if those sensations feel far away right now.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Reaching out for support is not only recommended – it’s essential. No one can do everything on their own in this life, and that’s even truer for dealing with grief. Friends, loved ones, counselors, therapists, spiritual advisors – these are all people who can help you manage and navigate the murky waters you’re currently wading through.
Some folks might feel like asking for help denotes weakness, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes strength and courage to say, “I need your help.” It’s time to enact that strength and courage for the sake of your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Read next: A Meditation to Find Peace in Uncertain Times
4. Focus on Self-Care
Sometimes when we’re going through a very difficult time, we forget about our self-care routines. In fact, grief can be so overwhelming that it’s difficult even to take a shower or brush your teeth.
Don’t feel bad when this happens. It’s a normal part of the process.
However, taking care of yourself is very especially important during this time. Self-care routines are healing in nature, and many exercises – like yoga, meditation, or crystal healing – can help ease the pain you’re feeling right now.
So, when an especially overwhelming emotion comes to visit, try tending to it with a little loving self-care.
5. Write it Out
Keeping a journal regularly can provide clarity, reduce stress, and even help lift depression over time – and it can be a fundamental practice in assisting with feelings of grief. It can be instrumental in releasing some of those big emotions – the ones far too heavy to carry with you throughout the day.
Try making time to write each day or carrying a small notebook with you to turn to when overwhelming feelings take over. You may even come to think of your journal as a new friend with highly developed listening skills.
6. Be Patient With Yourself
When we experience the darkest emotions of life, we often want nothing more than to make them go away as quickly as possible. In fact, we might even feel like we’ve somehow failed if the process takes longer than expected. But patience is imperative, especially toward your own spirit.
You can’t snap a finger and heal, nor would that be helpful in the long run. It takes time to process emotions, no matter who you are. Be patient with yourself right now and remind your spirit that it’s okay to take its time when necessary.
Don’t rush the process.
Take Your Time
The last year has had its fair share of ups and downs – with many of those downs spilling out back-to-back. It would only make sense that grief is more widely experienced right now than many of us have ever witnessed before, especially on such a large scale.
It’s important that we come together right now and support one another. Try to remind yourself that each person you interact with is likely dealing with their own form of grief and share kindness wherever you go.
Together, we can make it through this difficult time, come out on top, and eventually celebrate our triumph together.
Related article: What Is Languishing & Why Are We All Feeling It?