How To Cope With Grief

These last several years have brought so many unexpected twists and turns.  We recognize so many Nurses in our community have been working tirelessly on COVID units while also adjusting to the changes the last few years have brought.  Maybe you’ve lost a patient recently or feel tired from the high stress COVID unit you’ve been working on.  Maybe you had to reschedule a big life event or have lost out on finances.  

Whatever is coming up for you at this time we just want to honor you and honor your feelings, whatever those may be.

A few tips on how to cope with Grief:

1. Journal to help process your feelings
 A few journal prompts to start: 
What feelings are coming up for me around the loss I’ve experienced? 
Are there any feelings that I’m not allowing myself to feel? 
How can I love myself through this?

2. Find ways to ground yourself as often as needed
This is so important for healing. Some ideas for grounding: Taking baths, listening to soft music, laying in your yard for a couple minutes and breathing in the fresh air, walking at a pretty park, swimming, doing breathing exercises, smelling flowers, or feeling warm sunshine on your body.  

3. Carry something meaningful you can see or touch throughout your day
As you are reminded of your pain simply look at or touch this meaningful item (could be a coin, a pin, etc) and remind yourself it’s okay to feel.  You are human with a big heart.  Feel the feelings and remind yourself you are loved and cared for.

4. Create coping cards

Create cards (index cards, etc) you can write statements on that affirm your feelings.  Post them throughout your house or on your work clipboard so you are reminded of them often.  For example; I have a big heart and feel this loss deeply. I know I am supported and have *insert name of friend or important person in your life* to lean on.

5. Find support

 A nurse bestie, a good friend, or a significant other can be good sources of support. Schedule a coffee date or dinner for just the two of you to rejuvenate yourself. Seek therapy or support in a therapeutic environment if you need it. Share with your unit how you’re doing and check in on each other. 

Always remember it is okay to set a boundary with a loved one when you need a listening ear without feedback.  We all need that when going through loss and changes in our life.  So often people want to give feedback or advice when someone is hurting and this can be difficult when you are the one hurting.  Feedback and opinions aren’t always what is needed in the moment. 

Let your loved one know ahead of time you simply need them to listen and don’t currently need any feedback.  This gives you the freedom to express yourself without someone giving advice and this gives them the freedom to know you need support and love without them needing to offer advice.

6. Join us in our free community app

Our Community App is open 24/7 and is the perfect place to hop into when you're struggling and need support!  Our app is a safe place to vent and share wtf moments, ask questions or DM another nurse who see may be going through the same thing. The best news is it's free! Join here!

If any of these tips helped you or you have more to share, drop a comment below! 🖤


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1 Response

Amanda Coffey
Amanda Coffey

October 09, 2020

I am so INSPIRED by the work you all are doing! I have been considered a mentor/encourager on my unit (Cardiovascular critical care) for some time and would love tips on how I can start/initiate some of the many things you have started on my unit!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your work! ❤️
Your fellow nurse friend,

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