Five Secrets to Healthy Grieving

Whenever we experience a major loss, we need to grieve in order to understand the impact of the loss on our life and how to cope with the myriad of changes that are required after such a transition. Everyone grieves in a different way, and there are situations that complicate the grief process. If you feel you may be struggling with complicated grief, please call or email me for support.


Get support from others.
Asking for help can be one of the most difficult things we do. Many of us have been taught to “be strong” when we face a crisis or a loss. But grief work requires that we find someone who will listen to us. We’re all rusty at these things, but with guidance, we can learn ways of asking for and accepting help from our support system.

Make time to grieve.
Set aside time to grieve. Use this time to feel the emotions that come with loss, and to regulate your tempo with how you feel. No one prepares you for how difficult it will be, but you can facilitate the process by learning healthy ways to cope with the challenges grief brings.

Create a physical environment that supports rather than stresses you.
During this time, stress levels increase, and you need all the opportunities you can find to relax. Starting with your home, carve out places where you can feel safe. Try setting up a meditation corner where you can unwind and let go of tension. You can’t predict how you’ll feel day to day, but there are many rituals of healing you can learn that will bring you comfort during this difficult time.

Develop skills that help you remember you are a worthwhile person.
Grief slows you down and gives you a chance to turn inward on your journey. Use this time to explore your life assumptions, set new priorities and find personal inner peace. You have choices in your grief work: you can let grief control you and fall into a deep depression or illness; you can ignore it by staying busy and find that it keeps showing up in other ways. Or, you can gain knowledge of how to embrace your pain and grow positively from it.

Take care of yourself.
Be aware that there are physical as well as emotional aspects to grief. Exercise increases your strength and stamina, and reduces your stress. Healthy eating gives your body the good nourishment it needs. You’re more vulnerable after you suffer a major loss, and your sleeping and eating patterns may be interrupted. There may even be multiple losses that increase your risk for health concerns. Learn what red flags to watch out for, and how to handle them.

Written by Chris Kalamon, L.C.S.W., .
May be reprinted for personal use only. If you wish to reprint
as a handout, please contact Chris Kalamon for permission.

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