Breathing exercises are so important to do on a daily basis when you are grieving.
They helped me deepen my connection with my body and bring awareness to the present moment. I found that when tension in my body was released, my mind was able to take a break from worrying about my loss and how I would cope in the future, which is a side effect of grief.
My grief settles in my belly and chest. I find myself tensing up to protect myself from future pain. Learning to breathe and soften my stomach and chest muscles has helped me to relax and let go of tension.
After completing my body scan meditation, which I do morning and evening, I often ask myself, “What does my breath tell me about how my body is coping with my grief?” When I invite my body to relax, it not only stops my stress reaction, (fight or flight), it reverses the harmful physical effects of stress. My breathing helps me experience a greater sense of calm and control that is essential in my grieving process. I have learned to breathe through my grief and beyond.
Body Scan Meditation (Progressive Relaxation)
Lie on your back in a relaxed position, arms down at your side, palms up. Take a deep breath through your nose, bringing your awareness fully to the present moment. Exhale through your mouth and feel your body relax.
Continue to breathe slowly and gently as you bring your awareness to the top of your head. As the feeling of relaxation begins to spread down from the top of your scalp, feel the muscles in your forehead and temples relax. Allow your eye muscles to relax and your jaw to soften. Let your ears, nose, chin, teeth, and gums relax
Let your cheeks and your jaw soften and let go of all your teaching. Now let the same feeling travel down into your neck. Feel it loosening every muscle and every fiber. With each breath you take, this relaxing feeling becomes deeper and warmer. Feel it work its way down deep into the muscles in your shoulders. Feel it loosen the muscles in your upper arms, your forearms, your hands, relaxing and soothing all the way down to the tips of your fingers.
As your body relaxes so does your mind, and your thoughts become lighter and seem to diminish. You are thinking yourself into a dreamlike state of stillness and relaxation.
Bring your awareness now to your chest and your stomach. Feel these areas gently rise and fall as you breathe. The peaceful sensation is soothing every muscle and relaxing every organ.
Turn your attention to your upper back, and feel this relaxing sensation flow all the way down your spine. Allow it to gradually work its way down your body feeling every muscle in your back relax and unwind. Your entire upper body now has become loose and relaxed.
Now allow this sensation to travel to your hips and start to work its way through your lower body. Relax your glutes, the back of your thighs, the front of your thighs. Feel all these large muscle groups becoming more relaxed and loosening with each passing breath.
Send the same soothing feelings of relaxation down through your knees, and into your calves, ankles, and feet. Allow your entire lower body to relax, allowing any tension from anywhere in your body to flow out to the tips of your toes.
Enjoy your peaceful and relaxed state. Leave the external world behind, and go on an inner journey. A journey to a greater inner peace. Spend as long as you like in this peaceful state visualizing your personal goal and following your highest path. Visualize yourself living your ideal in the personal growth area of your life.
When you are ready to return to your full waking state, take the sense of newfound freedom with you into your daily life. Become aware of your physical body and your surroundings. Wiggle your toes and fingers and when you are ready, in your own time, open your eyes.
If you are planning a memorial for a loved that has passed away, you can organise a service for people that cannot be there in person.
The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that friends and family have not been able to gather for funerals due to the social distancing regulations in place across the whole of the UK and much of the world. This, however, is not a new thing with families who are living in different countries having to think of memorials where not everyone can attend.
Everyone knows that funerals are a way for people to come together to celebrate the life of a loved one and to remember the impact they had on the world. In this article, we look at some of the best memorial ideas for those who can’t be together now and in the future.
Plan an in-person memorial for later
When a loved one passes away there are a lot of things that you can arrange remotely such as browsing for headstones and buying one for the deceased, but gathering together for a memorial is not possible at the moment.
Kristi Hugstad runs The Grief Girl blog and she recommends you arrange a memorial for a later date so that family and friends can come together to remember the deceased.
“The right decision for some families may be to plan a memorial for a later date when it’s safer to gather publicly.
“It’s important for surviving loved ones to feel supported by their community. When the time comes when an in-person gathering is possible, the support will be waiting for you.”
All of us are experiencing a wide range of emotions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the most common one is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting the virus, fear of losing a loved one. So how can we keep ourselves emotionally healthy?
Start by developing an attitude of HOPE.
HOPE is not just about a fleeting moment or temporary feeling that things will get better. It's about a lifestyle. A lifestyle you develop that's a reflection of everything you do and everything you are. Using HOPE as a platform to help motivate you to think positively and be proactive helps you make the most of every situation, even those not-so- good ones.
When you learn to manage your thoughts, nothing gets the best of you as you will respond in a positive way because you've learned to take action to improve your situation. HOPE is something we develop as we face adversity and learn from our struggles; it's not something we are born with.
As we shift how we think about life, we develop the strength to overcome our biggest fears and toughest challenges. Focus on solutions and what you can control and what you can do to move forward . Be proactive by turning your focus to what you can contribute and help those around you. When you bring hope into the lives of others, it inspires hope within you.
HOPE reassures us that the expectations of our future are greater than the fear of our present.
These lifestyle changes are especially important during this time of uncertainty.
by Kristi Hugstad
Each of us has attached ourselves to something or somebody, and when you lose that special thing or person, you grieve. Always. You can try to run from it all you want, but it will always find you and tackle you when you’re not looking. My blogs, along with my books, will give you the tools to help you learn to live with your new self as you journey through your grief.