When we are kind to ourselves, we create peace.
-Rachel Macy Stafford
We humans tend to be so hard on ourselves. This can be especially true when we have certain time tables for ourselves. When we want to lose the extra pounds by. When we want to have a credit card paid off. When we want to buy a house. And so on and so forth.
And, this concept often applies to healing too. When I want to be finished grieving. When I want the past trauma to finally be resolved. When I want my anxiety and depression symptoms to be gone for good.
But unfortunately, life doesn’t work in absolutes. Which means that we have to find ways to be okay in the discomfort of all the ups and downs, and all the things that are completely outside of our control.
Grieving on a time line just doesn’t work. So, if you are grieving something (big or small) right now (and aren’t most of us?), please give yourself lots of grace and be gentle with yourself during this time.
Grieving can also be made harder when people don’t say quite the right things when you’re in emotional pain, so along with some strategies to take better care of you during this hard time, I’m also going to list some does and don’ts when it comes to what to say when people in your life are grieving. I hope the following tips are helpful to you!
Helpful things to say to someone who is grieving:
- I’m here for you
- Can I give you a hug
- How can I help
- I don’t know exactly what to say
- I’m so very sorry
- I’ve been there too
- I’d like to help with…
- I remember these sweet things about your loved one…
What else would you add to this list?
What not to say to someone who is grieving:
- It was meant to be
- There are in a better place now
- Nothing (don’t ignore it!)
- This too shall pass
- At least…
- It was God’s will
- Sorry, and quickly change the subject
- You’ll feel better soon
What else would you add here?
**Remember instead, be empathic and put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you say anything.
Self-care for when you’re grieving (including lots of ways to be gentle with yourself during this hard time):
- Write about it in a journal
- Do a loving kindness meditation
- Go for a walk
- Connect with dear friends
- Make time for rest
- Discuss it with family
- Snuggle with your pets
- Talk to a therapist
- Read a great book
- Do some yoga stretches
What other types of self-care help you when you’re grieving?
Most of us struggle with being kind and compassionate towards ourselves, and this becomes even more important if you’re grieving a loss in your life. Know that you’re not alone in your current struggles. I’m sending lots of love and support your way as you process and work through your own grief and loss, and I’m hoping you’re able to tap into lots of inner self-compassion and self-kindness along the way!