Grief Support

Dealing with Stress While Grieving

written by Camille Johnson

When people lose someone dear to them, Harvard Medical School notes that it's common for their stress levels to rise dramatically. It's not uncommon for people to retreat inwards or turn to self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse during such a difficult time. 

This is why it's important to set small goals during the grieving process to reduce stress. While it can be tough to start, sometimes doing the smallest stress-relieving activity can spark joy in someone dealing with grief. Today, Desmond Funeral Homes offers a range of suggestions to help you get started. 

Activities to Relieve Stress 

When it comes to dealing with stress, everyone has different coping mechanisms to take care of themselves. It can be helpful to set small goals of doing one stress-relieving activity per day or week. 

  • Go for a walk. Take advantage of the beauty that nature has to offer and go for a nice long walk to clear your head. Experiencing a change of scenery and temperature can do wonders for the mind when going through a difficult event. 
  • Meditate. Meditating can do wonders for your mental health. If you're new to the world of meditating, why not try guided meditation
  • Play with a pet. If you're an animal lover, this points out that it can be very healing to spend time with your pet. Try your best to be in the moment, allowing all of your troubles to fall by the wayside while you play with your furry critter. Look into nearby walks and hikes you can complete with your dog to give your mind a break. Or you could just play catch with a tennis ball at home. As long as you're enjoying your time spent with them, that's all that matters. 
  • Challenge yourself. It might sound counterintuitive but sometimes, when you’re stressed, the best thing to do is chase a dream or goal that you’ve been putting off. Business goals are a good example. If you’ve put off starting your own business, use this time to take the first step and file a Maine LLC. A formation company can help make the process easy for you, and you can focus your energies on building your business.
  • Do nothing. It’s okay if you want to take some time and do absolutely nothing. Believe it or not, this is an easy way to clear your mind and just reset. In fact, many people in the business world make a point to “do nothing” a few times a day.
  • Gather memories. To help memorialize your lost loved one, spend some time creating digital copies of forms and photos documenting their life. Putting the files together in a PDF is one way to collect them—you can edit PDF files online, too. You may even find you enjoy researching family history. You can spend time creating a file documenting your extended family and ancestors.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

While finding ways to relieve stress during the grieving process can be helpful, your loved one will never be far from your mind. It's important not to put too much pressure on yourself to heal quickly, as going through these difficult emotions is understandable and necessary to process what has happened. 

Completing one stress-relieving activity a day is a major achievement. There's no pressure to overload yourself. Take it day by day and slowly pursue more stress relief as and when it feels right for you. Remember that each person deals with stress in very different ways. What may be right for a friend of yours may not be right for you. Test out various activities and see what suits you and your needs. 

Next Steps 

There's no magic pill that can take away the stress caused by the loss of a loved one. You can, however, take small steps every day in order to relieve the extra stress caused leading to a more healthy grieving process. 

For funeral and memorial services for the Bath-Brunswick area communities, contact Desmond Funeral Homes today.

In addition to the bereavement services for the families we serve,  we have provided some helpful grief support links below: 

Crisis, Grief and Healing, the first interactive grief website on the internet, offers discussion boards, articles, book suggestions, and advice for men and women working through every aspect of grief. The site’s founder, Tom Golden LCSW, has provided book excerpts and contact information to help those healing from loss.


Willowgreen offers support and information for those dealing with life transition & aging, illness & caregiving, loss & grief, and hope & spirituality.  The site offers advice, products, and inspirational materials.

Grief and Loss   

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) website contains a Grief & Loss section with grief-related articles and information.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization   

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website provides a host of information and resources for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury and their caregivers.

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