How Do We Find Wellness During Grief?
Updated: Oct 15
Over the course of the last few days, we have all watched as a horrific crisis unfolds between Israel and Hamas—as raw and disturbing information floods our lives through traditional news sources, social media, and conversation. Coming on the heels of a global pandemic, reports of mass violence and shootings that have rocked our country this year, the war in Ukraine (and many other parts of the world), and the murder of George Floyd—the weight of these emotional experiences, whether a direct experience or not, can have a dramatic impact on our mental health. And while not all people who experience or hear about a traumatic event will develop psychological distress, these tragic events nearly always interrupt our sense of order and safety. The impact often extends to individuals who live far outside of the affected area with no personal connections to the event.
Below we have put together a short list of ways to find wellness during times of grief. We strongly encourage and remind you to take your mental health seriously. Reach out to your doctor or mental health professional to ask for help if you are having trouble recovering and everyday tasks seem difficult to manage. Connections to mental health support, as well as SAMSA’s national helpline can be found here.
Never before has the health and wellness of your team (and yourself) been so important.
Attend to your physical needs: Get in bed early. Get out for a walk. Make a hot cup of tea or caffeine-free coffee. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Take “time-outs” between activities (or whenever needed) and do some deep breathing. Even though it may be hard, try to maintain a regular schedule and routine.
Be patient with your emotions: Grief takes time. Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, disgust, anguish, or sympathy. Allow yourself times to grieve, and declare other times non-grieving times so that you may at least find short moments of peace. Connect with others and recognize they, too, may be grieving and struggling to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
Find an outlet for your feelings: Journal, talk with a therapist, donate to a nonprofit, do something kind for a neighbor or family member. Ask for hugs or physical touch when you need it and be respectful of yourself and others when physical space is needed to process emotions.
Avoid overexposure to media: If you find that you feel anxious or stressed after watching or reading the news, consider limiting the amount of media coverage you are consuming. While it is important to stay informed, media portrayals of shootings, war, and suffering have been shown to cause acute stress and PTSD symptoms. Consider limiting your media consumption before bedtime or first thing in the morning.
Focus on your strength base: Surround yourself and spend time with people and pets who bring you comfort. Remind yourself of positive and joyful experiences. Get out in nature and surround yourself with the beauty of the season. Maintain those habits that provide you emotional relief.
Many of you also have children at home who may be asking questions, or you are trying to determine if and how to talk to them about recent events. Below are links to articles to guide you through this process:
Fundraising Sol was founded on the belief that the health and wellness of your team is inextricably linked to the health of your organization. If you are looking for a different way to fundraise, where the health of your team and those you serve is prioritized, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org