presents to you; Grief: 15 ways to deal with hard times

After the loss of a loved one, or loss of Job, or even natural disaster, we are thrown into the chaos of grief, flailing around aimlessly in the swell of hurt and emotions that swamp us. Every day seems like a bad day.

We give in and collapse, letting ourselves become engulfed and dragged down by our emotional burdens.

When we’re in that place it’s hard to find a way out, to see daylight and be able to breathe in the fresh air again.

Here are some tips to help you go through tough times



Sometimes we just have to give ourselves permission to be in the mire of what we feel and what we are experiencing. We need to be engulfed in our great sorrow and pain that hurts like nothing on earth. We need to feel the depths of our anguish for ourselves, our deep ache for all that we are going through so that we can open our eyes to another day.

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Set a timer


You can wallow but not forever. It’s a self-absorbed dark place that we don’t want to be in forever. Give yourself a time limit – minutes or hours, perhaps the whole day. Set boundaries that support you.



any sort of movement is good. If it comes after a good wallow, it might be as simple as getting out of bed. It could be walking around the block or having a good stretch. Activity is a whole-body plus. Start where you are and go from there.

Use gadgets (Smartphone, iPad/Tablets, Playlists) 


Smartphone – find an app that inspires you, something to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down. It could be faith-based, inspirational quotes or the sounds of nature.

iPad/Tablets – there is an amazing array of stuff you can get nowadays to distract and divert you, to lift you up a little from the gloom that can descend. I’ve recently added the TED app to my iPad. TED is a non-profit dedicated to ideas worth spreading. In their iPad app, there are hundreds of talks from their conferences you can watch on a bad day or when sleep eludes.

Soft tissues


Our poor noses come in for a battering when we are grieving. We have never cried so much. So buy some extra gentle tissues to have on hand. A little softness goes a long way when we’re feeling miserable.

Cuddle up 


Buy a beautifully made soft and snugly throw to dive into. There is something about being warm and covered that makes us feel protected and cared for. It’s a hug with us, for ourselves.

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It’s not a good thing to dive into the fridge when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed but we all do it and it can be an emotional short term boost. Keep it for those times when you need it most.



Something that might seem impossible when we are in the depths of despair. Laughing is healthy and nothing to feel bad about. We all need some relief, a breather and laughter can do so much to release the tension we hold in tight. Watch this yoga laughter video or keep a couple of DVDs or tapes you know you will laugh at close at hand. It can do so much to break open the shell of despair sitting heavy in your heart.

Feed your mind

Get a couple of books, DVD’s or tapes that inspire you in some way. You might have some you turn to again and again. If not, start to collect a couple of things you can use during these difficult days. To comfort yourself, inspire you and give you hope.

One good thing

It can be the hardest thing in the world to feel grateful for anything when we have lost someone we love so very much. Yet I believe if we try and if we practice we can find our one good thing that becomes another and another. It taps us into the polar opposite of our loss and directs us towards hope and healing.

Your box of goodies

When you are having a bad day, give yourself a fighting chance and know what makes you feel better. It could be a picture or a piece of jewellery, Or maybe a gift voucher you bought a while ago for a day like today. It could be a beautiful fragrance or a bunch of your favourite flowers. Keep them in your real or imagined box and tap into them when you need to.

Phone a friend

Gauge how you feel. Sometimes we want to talk, sometimes we don’t. We may not have close friends or family we can call but we may be able to connect in other ways. Grief is a very lonely and isolating experience. We all have times where we need support and need to know we’re not the only one feeling this way.

Get support

Most grief support groups have contact lists where you can reach out for support. If you are feeling suicidal in any way please get immediate help from your Doctor, Hospital or Emergency helpline in your area. The internet never sleeps and can be a great support and reassurance to those from any part of the world who need to connect with someone else who is grieving.

Treat yourself

Our homes can become our safety net, our sanctuary especially when we’re feeling so very sorrowful. Getting out the house and being in a different place moves your body but it can also shift your mood. Make it pleasurable, take yourself somewhere nice. Break the mould.

Go visiting

Where have you always wanted to go? See it in your mind, imagine it. Bring it to life with pictures. Read about it, think about it, and plan it. Having something to look forward to can help us deal with the difficulties we are going through right now. It might not be a long-held dream, it could be a trip for a night or two away, a holiday or something you always wanted to do.

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