Every person experiences grief differently. The emotions are different, the reactions are different, the coping methods are different, even the things that bring healing are different from one person to another. However, amidst all those differences there is one thing that every grieving mother has in common, the need for self-care.
When your life changes from one moment to another and everything feels upside-down, when all control and planning and preparation seems to have gone by the wayside – acts of self-care feel pointless. Useless. In reality, when your baby dies part of you longs for death so any sort of self-preservation would be in vain.
Sometimes it feels like the sun won’t rise again… but it does. Maybe we don’t want it to rise, maybe we prefer for the world to stop as our heart is breaking… but it will rise and set, and rise again. That is maybe the hard part of life, it goes on, whether we are ready or not. Zoe Clark-Coates, sayinggoodbye.org
Friend, this is me giving you a hug and telling you, we need you here. You’re loved. And you’re valued. I know there are moments when you feel like giving up, I know there are moments when you don’t want the world to go on or the sun to come up and that the idea of a shower or a walk or a even brushing your teeth feels utterly meaningless in the face of such loss. But don’t give up. I’m here to help in a small way. To give you a tangible reminder to do some of those seemingly meaningless things because I know they will sustain you in the long run. Taking a shower or eating a healthy meal will not make the pain hurt less or make your heart stop aching but these tiny steps of self-care will give you strength to endure this journey of grief.
And because I needed tangible reminders to actually ensure these things happened each day, I thought you might too. So I made a free printable just for you. Print it out and put it somewhere you will see it and be reminded to do those little things each day. And at the end of the week, even if there are only a handful of checkmarks, celebrate those checkmarks, because those were likely moments you had to fight for and find joy in all that you were able to accomplish that week. It’s a big deal to get out of bed when everything hurts. And for all the moments that were too hard and all the checkmarks left undone, know that healing is a journey and it’s ok, try again tomorrow, or next week.
SELF CARE CHECKLIST
- Go to bed.
- Brush my teeth.
- Take a shower.
- Move your body.
- Eat a healthy meal.
- Drink water.
- Talk to a friend.
- Say no to something.
- Say yes to something.
- Be inspired.
TO THE FRIEND OR FAMILY OF A MAMA GRIEVING
Print this list out and give it to the one who is grieving. And then ask her how you can help her make some of these things happen. Invite her to go on a walk. Cook her a healthy dinner. Encourage her go to bed. Give her a good book to read. Take her to see something beautiful. And remember all the things that seem mundane to you (like brushing your teeth or drinking water) can be devastatingly hard for a mama who is grieving. Be gentle with her as you encourage her to care for herself even amidst her grief.
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SELF-CARE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST