The Power of Low-Lift Self-Care During Grief

Apr 07, 2024
The Power of Low-Lift Self-Care During Grief

When we're grieving, the idea of self-care can feel daunting. Just getting out of bed in the morning can feel like a feat of superhuman strength. Scrolling through social media, you're bombarded with images of "self-care" that feel laughably out of reach. Lush spa days at exotic retreats?  Elaborate, Instagram-worthy meals? Yeah, right. Who has the energy (or the resources) for that when it takes every ounce of willpower just to brush your teeth?

Here's the secret that those picture-perfect posts don't tell you: self-care doesn't have to be some big, fancy production. In fact, when you're grieving, it's the small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness towards yourself that can make the biggest difference.

As recent research on "daily uplifts" has shown, even small positive actions can have a significant impact on our well-being during grief– and here at Grieve Leave, we want to claim those moments as “self-care,” too. These seemingly minor things, like calling a loved one or enjoying a simple hobby, can help lessen the emotional burden of loss, and make us feel more like ourselves again.

So what does low-lift self-care look like? It's lighting a candle and taking a few deep breaths. It's going for a short walk around the block, letting the fresh air remind you that the world is still turning. Low-lift self-care is also about the little things we do to create a sense of order and control in a world that feels chaotic. It's making your bed, even if that's the only thing you accomplish that day. It's doing the dishes, not because you feel like it, but because you know your future self will appreciate not having to face a mountain of crusty plates. 

When we're grieving, it's easy to feel like we've lost control over everything. The future we envisioned has shattered, the person we loved is gone, the life we knew has been upended. These small rituals of self-care remind us that we still have choices and that we can still take steps - however small - to nurture ourselves.

Low-Lift Self-Care Ideas:

  1. Light a candle

  2. Call a friend to chat

  3. Make your bed

  4. Take a bubble bath

  5. Do a face mask

  6. Get a manicure

  7. Get a pedicure

  8. Go for a short walk

  9. Do the dishes

  10. Eat a comforting meal

  11. Read something fun

  12. Wear your softest clothes 

  13. Listen to your favorite playlist 

  14. Step outside and feel the sun on your face

  15. Write down one thing you're grateful for

  16. Take a nap

  17. Stretch for a few minutes

  18. Cuddle with a pet or soft blanket

  19. Say "no" to an obligation that feels draining

  20. Say "yes" to an offer of help or support

Self-care during grief isn't about achieving perfection. It's about honoring your needs, being kind to yourself, and taking things one day (or one moment) at a time.

What are we missing? Head over to the Grieve Leave Instagram to share your small self-care ideas. 

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