Self-Care Week: tips on self-care in grief

November 2022

This week is Self-Care Week and two wonderful WAY Widowed and Young members have been generously sharing tips about how to help bereaved people look after themselves when they’re grieving.

Sabine Horner, who is a nutritionist as well as Area Contact for York, shares tips on how to eat and sleep better. And West Midlands volunteer and yoga instructor Orla Blackburn talks self care and how to look after yourself.

Orla’s Tips

Yoga with Orla

Here are some tips from Orla this Self-Care Week:

  1. Self care in the everyday does not need to be big nor take much time. When feeling overwhelmed, distressed, anxious – breathe slowly in through the nose and take it all the way down to the belly. It may sometimes take a few breaths to go slower. Exhale through the mouth as though you are blowing through a straw.
  2. Self care in grief may seem like too big an ask, too much hard work. It can be as simple as stepping into your garden. closing your eyes, and listening to the sounds around you.
  3. Self care is talking to yourself with kind words. I used to speak to myself with such scorn and nastiness (and many swear words!). I was full of regret and guilt and if onlys – this will not help, it will not change anything. Speaking to yourself kindly and with encouragement will open up your way forward.
  4. Self care is found in community and being with others – in particular a community who understands your grief. It may be very hard to do this in the early days – that is when Zoom and online community is so so powerful.
  5. I have discovered that self care for one WAY member who found herself bed bound with grief for months, was showing up for the online yoga sessions each week. From her bed, with her camera off and not getting involved in the chat. All it took was being in the presence of the others and doing the gentle moves from her bed. This (amongst other things that got her through) meant not only did she get out of that bed, but also faced other challenges she could not do before.
  6. Discovering how to live again after loss is a slow journey – it is important to acknowledge all the tiny steps and achievements you have made along the way. Notice and celebrate each tiny achievement.
  7. Gentle movement allows us to release held-in trauma from the body – treat yourself to a few stretches as you wake up and before you head to bed. 

Sabine’s Tips

Self-Care tips from Sabine

WAY volunteer and nutritionist Sabine Horner also shared some of her self-care tips:

  • Health care is all about self-care.
  • Good nutrition is about caring for ourselves. 
  • Self-care isn't selfish.
  • Eating well is an act of self-love.

pdf file iconSabine's 3 Simple Self-Care Practices (2,339.91 KB)