No matter the source of our grief, getting through it can sometimes feel interminable.
Having gone through some terrible heartbreak this year, I found solace in the following four activities. I hope they help any reader who is grieving.
1. Allow yourself more sleep.
Grief is exhausting. Our body is processing energy, which can make us feel depleted and sluggish. Let’s not forget that emotions are “energy in motion.” The body takes a hit when our hearts are crushed.
When we sleep, our body gets a chance to repair, and our mind gets a break. Sleep is also crucial for our heart’s health—how fitting, since it is currently broken.
Sleeping also helps our subconscious mind work out the kinks. We can release some of our pain, anger, or frustration through our dreams, or receive valuable information that can help us heal.
Feeling more tired is completely normal. If you can get more sleep, take the opportunity.
2. Binge watch your favorite show or movie.
A good show or movie is like getting together with old friends, isn’t it? There is so much comfort in seeing those familiar faces and getting to laugh and cry at our favorite lines or scenes.
Doing something familiar allows us to just be. Getting our mind off our pain for a while is crucial to our healing. We are still us, even with our present sorrow. It’s okay to seek comfort and want to feel better, even if we cried five minutes ago.
3. Find some big trees, sit down, and talk to them.
There is something about sitting under a cluster of trees and baring your soul. Nature instantly instills peace and serenity. We are able to really breathe and relax when we are away from the collective energy and can be authentic with ourselves.
Saying out loud what is hurting us helps us acknowledge ourselves and, in turn, makes those feelings less scary. Getting it out in the open takes the weight off our shoulders. We can feel free, liberated, and unchained.
Like animals, trees and nature will never judge us. When we are in the darkest night, we just want to feel accepted and understood.
If you can, take off your shoes and put your feet on the earth. This practice, called earthing, transfers electrons from the earth to our bodies, further assisting our physical health, including sleep.
4. Put on some music and stretch.
Everything is connected. Stress from grief builds up in our body. When we stretch, we release pent-up energy that can elicit emotion.
Stretching is such a loving and gentle act for the body. Our organs get a massage, our tendons and joints get some attention, our tight muscles experience a release, which helps with flexibility and range of motion. It also forces us to slow down.
When we slow down, we start to breathe deeper. When we start to breathe deeper, we can really start to feel what is going on for us. We may notice where our grief lives, where it hides, what we are so afraid of, and why. We can become more vulnerable with ourselves and admit the scary stuff.
The body doesn’t lie. When we connect with it, it communicates incredible information.
Stretching also helps the body switch from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). This gets us back into healing mode, which benefits all areas of our life, including our grieving process.
May these practices serve you in whatever you may be going through.