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Short and Sweet Summary: Are you ready to face your grief and acknowledge its presence instead of pushing it away? Read on for a list of conscious ways to acknowledge grief when you’re ready to accept and support your mourning process and begin healing.
One of the biggest hurdles of dealing with grief is the dealing with the grief part. You know grief is there. Its presence permeates every inch of available space in every room.
But you try to avoid it. Because grief is uncomfortable and messy and inconvenient. Grief is embarrassing, even. I mean, how many tears can one person shed for Pete’s sake? Who wouldn’t want to shun this thing that hurts like a bitch and is way too complicated to explain?
The thing is, it’s the avoidance that makes grief complicated and uneasy. The pushing away and the dodging make it so much harder to accept what your reality is.
So how about trying a different way of dealing with grief? Maybe acknowledge its presence and accept it instead of ignoring it and wishing it away? When you make peace with grief you can begin healing.
Read on for some creative ways to consciously accept and support your grief.
Sometimes it’s our thoughts about grief that are more challenging than grief itself. It’s easy to fall victim to a “why me?” mentality when you’re hurting and the relentless pain just won’t go away.
Changing your thoughts from bad to good once in a while is all it takes to help reframe your reality. Yes, grief sucks. And, yes, it’s difficult. No one will argue with that. But, when you’re ready to train your mind to work with you instead of against you can use these 10 Affirmations To Heal Your Broken Heart from Louise Hay.
Repeat these affirmations any time you feel overwhelmed and don’t think there’s any way for things to get better.
Sometimes you need reminders of how amazing you are. I mean it. You’re really brave and talented and ballsy for the way you push through the pain to keep going every day.
I can’t tell you how great you are every day, though. Do you know who can? You can. Tell yourself how proud you are of handling your relationship with grief. Place post-it notes wherever you can see them every day and reinforce the message that you’re doing the work with grief, acknowledging it and learning from it.
Use the affirmations listed above if you don’t know what to write on a note. Or find some quotes that resonate with you and write those down. Check out my Instagram feed for examples of grief quotes you can use.
Write a note and put it on your bathroom mirror or next to the coffee maker. The more you repeat a message to yourself the more likely you are to believe it.
I still use Post-it notes on my mirror. I need reminders, too!
LETTERS TO GRIEF
How about writing grief a letter? I’m not talking about writing a letter to anyone about your grief. I’m talking about specifically writing to grief.
What do you have to say to this thing that takes up space in your life and elicits some pretty heavy emotions?
Get your words on to paper and let grief know exactly what you think of it. It can be good, bad or indifferent. What is your personal relationship with grief? How has it changed from day one to year one and beyond?
My letters to grief now would be vastly different from when my husband first died. I’ve crossed the threshold of insane anger to acceptance and I know that grief has taught me a lot about myself I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Let your letters to grief reflect exactly how you’re feeling – without judgment.
Anyone can write. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct, use proper punctuation or be formatted like a master’s thesis. Just write. Write as fast and furious or as slow and steady as you wish. Stop when you need to. Start again when you’re ready.
There really are no rules except to get your thoughts and feelings out of you and onto paper. Processing grief requires a tremendous amount of strength and endurance. I can vouch for the fact that it helps to write out your thoughts and feelings instead of pushing them down and trying to avoid the uncomfortable.
YOGA CHILD’S POSE
Yoga is a great way to get in touch with your feelings and your senses at the same time. Because Yoga seems daunting when you’re not confident in how to do the poses, you could start with a simple pose instead of trying to master several poses at once.
A good pose to begin with is Child’s Pose because it doesn’t require any props, bendy sequences or concentration. The stillness of the pose might stir up some buried emotions, but you’re making a conscious effort to acknowledge grief, right? This pose is also a therapeutic posture for relieving stress and relaxing muscles.
You can do this pose at any time. Whenever you’re trying to deal with big grief feelings, get into Child’s Pose and relax. Maybe try it before bed to see if it helps calm you down before sleep. Or you might want to try it first thing in the morning to become centered as you begin your day.
If you’re up for it, you could extend your yoga sequence to include more poses to help with grief. This 7-Pose Home Practice Will Help You Close (Yes, Close) Your Heart After Grief.
There are SO many ways to use art as a conscious way to acknowledge grief.
Different forms of expression are good because you can connect to grief in different ways. Just talking about grief all the time gets boring. I’m bored with my grief talk.
But giving yourself space for creativity is a great way to lessen grief’s emotional burden. Why? Because it’s an outlet. Another way to express yourself but without words. Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic you can still use a crayon or tape a picture to a scrapbook page.
Art is more about the process than the product. It doesn’t have to be perfect. So, ditch the excuses and find something that brings you joy.
Some art ideas include:
- Adult coloring books – This one is my favorite.
- Drawing – Here’s an idea to get you started.
- Painting – Learn how to create your first painting
- Scrapbooking – Here are some tips for creating a memorial album after a loss.
- Crochet – Here’s a story of a widow who crocheted her way through grief.
- Spiritual expression – honor your person’s memory by creating a shrine or altar.
Here are and additional 100 Art Therapy exercises to help you get started.
WIDOW WRAP UP
Dealing with grief is hard work, y’all.
If you’re anything like I used to be, you try to avoid grief at all costs. But I’ve learned over the years that the more I acknowledge grief, the less oppressive it is.
When you find yourself ignoring grief, (and trying to do anything other than feeling the grief feelings), use these conscious ways to acknowledge grief and get back to healing.
Grief doesn’t like to be ignored and it’s not healthy for you when you ignore it. But sitting with grief doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. You can support your grief relationship through art, writing, yoga and other forms of expression.
Which creative outlet will you choose?