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How to deal with stress and grief

13 April 2020

As we approach National Stress Awareness Day, 16 April 2020, it’s important to acknowledge that grieving can be a time of increased stress. It can make coping with the day to day challenging and heighten all interactions and situations.

If you are feeling the effects of stress, we suggest five ways to deal with and reduce stress during the grief process.

Meditation

Whether it’s sitting on your own in a quiet room, breathing deeply outside in nature or joining a group session, meditation can greatly help with stress.

Meditation is simply reducing the chatter in your mind by focusing on the most basic of things, your breath. Breathing in and out.

Sometimes stress can be caused by trying to stop or block how we really feel. Instead of pushing away the challenges, it can be best to accept and acknowledge that we are experiencing challenging circumstances and that right now, we are not ok, but that is ok. Meditation can help with this acceptance.

You can feel sad, down, worried, concerned and know that it’s just for a time. Let the thoughts come and go, just like the waves coming onto the beach and then washing away. Being aware of and observing your thoughts instead of trying to actively engage with them can be highly beneficial to your stress levels.

If you find meditation challenging on your own, look at some guided meditations through CDS, apps or even on youtube.

Walking

We understand that grief can be physically exhausting. It’s draining and can impact your health. Gentle walking is a simple and effective way to reduce stress through movement.

Whether you walk alone, with friends or in an arranged group, it all helps. Getting out in nature, breathing in fresh air and giving your body some energy, even for 15 minutes, can be greatly beneficial.

If you are looking for a walking group, The Centre for Care & Wellbeing offers social walks through our lovely grounds, visit here for more details.

Do something you love

At this time, take the pressure off and do something you love. Doing something enjoyable, and not just the daily grind of things because you have to can greatly improve stress.

Do you love lying in the sun? Do it.

Do you love painting? Do it.

Do you enjoy horse riding? Do it.

Do you enjoy reading a good book? Do it!.

Sometimes doing what we love, without feeling guilty or as if we should be doing something else, can be the best way to relieve stress and feel more grounded in yourself.

Speak with a health professional

Grief is innately stressful. We understand that stress can also impair your immune system and lead to other health challenges. When grieving, people may have more colds, suffer lingering illnesses, or have flare-ups of existing conditions. At this time, it’s important to monitor your health and if need be, see a doctor.

You may also consider seeing a counsellor or psychologist to help cope with the stress of grieving. There are some things we just can’t tackle alone and having an expert to guide you through the process could greatly reduce the stress you’re experiencing.

Connect with like-minded people

Stressful situations and periods can be greatly eased by sharing time with others. Connecting with people who have been through similar experiences or are at the same stage of life as you can greatly reduce the feelings of stress.

At The Centre for Care and Wellbeing, we have created a safe environment where participants can take the time needed during this significant time of loss, to reflect, remember and be reminded to take care of themselves physically and emotionally.

Although everyone will grieve and mourn differently, our vast experience and research have taught us much about the grieving process. Influenced by the ground-breaking work of renowned grief expert, Dr Alan Wolfelt, the Centre for Care & Wellbeing provides relevant and considered support services.

To learn more, visit here.

We wish you all the best during the challenging time and we hope that even if you’re not experiencing grief, but have had higher levels of stress, that this blog might also help you to find some calm and peace in your day today.