Coping Strategies That Work

Coping Strategies That Work

Feelings of loneliness and sadness are a normal part of the grief process. The following strategies may help with those feelings.

Just Breathe

Frequently remind yourself to stop and take slow, deep breaths.

Get moving

Get outside and/or get some exercise.

Eat and drink

Make sure that you are getting enough to eat and drink, and try to make healthy choices.


Get enough sleep; take breaks.


Practice meditation, prayer, or other rituals from your faith tradition. This can be a source of calmness, strength and healing.

Seek support

Look for it in the various parts of your life, from friends, family, neighbors, your faith community, and co-workers.

Nurture yourself

Being in nature, taking a hot bath, being creative (painting, clay, music, etc.), getting a massage, gardening, going to a concert, reading, or any other activities that re-charge you.

Allow time off

Take time off from your routine, from your house, from your job, or even from your grieving for a while.


Participate in sports, go shopping, socialize with friends, eat out, play video games, rent a movie, etc.

Use humor

Cultivate your own sense of humor and seek out opportunities to laugh or at least smile (reading the comics, watching a comedy, etc.)

Enjoy loved ones

Spend time with family and friends whom you love.


Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be healing and helpful.

Allow tears

Crying is normal and healthy during grief. Tears can be a welcome release.

Seek out grief support

Look into support groups and counseling, which can really help you along your grief journey.

Prepare for difficult days

When facing the holidays or other special days during the year, make a plan for how to get through the day. Consider trying something new, changing tradition a little.

Help others

Reaching out to others who are hurting, donating to or volunteering for good causes can help you to feel connected to others, and can help you to feel needed.


Find ways to honor your loved one and to keep his or her memory alive.


Sometimes unrelenting feelings of loneliness and sadness can lead to depression. If you feel you or a loved one are experiencing depression, please reach out to a grief specialist.