Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thursday's Therapy - 30+ Tips for Surviving Our Child-Loss Grief by Building Resilience ~From Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005)

Thursday's Therapy

30+ Tips for Surviving Our Child-Loss Grief by Building Resilience

~from Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005)

Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability to spring back into shape

In the following advice from the well-known book, Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005), we find 30+ tips for surviving difficulty - for us, surviving the difficulty of walking through our Child-Loss Grief. (Some of these ideas are repeated among lists.) Perhaps you can add even more survival tips that you have found. We welcome you to add these in the comments!

It is unfortunate that, in the book, so little emphasis was given to these preventive kinds of self-discipline and self-nurturance activities. Therefore, we wanted to bring these tips to your attention so that we child-loss grievers better may arm ourselves to endure the journey ahead with better preparation for our arduous journey through grief and trauma.

Sustaining our emotional well-being is often challenging…

During difficult times, doing positive things for ourselves--such as

  • eating well,
  • exercising, and
  • enjoying simple pleasures
  • (hot baths,
  • time alone, or
  • special time with friends) can bring some relief or comfort.

These activities may also help prevent or manage the physical problems that can result from periods of excessive demands and pressures.

These (physical problems that might be managed with these activities to build your resistance) include

  • headaches;
  • neck, back, and shoulder pains;
  • insomnia;
  • skin rashes;
  • jaw pains;
  • cold sores;
  • stomachaches;
  • severely increased or decreased appetite; and
  • diarrhea or constipation.

At times it is enough to talk, cry, ask friends for encouragement (or a foot rub), or find ways to laugh and play. Here are some other things you can try:

Wellness Strategies such as

  • eating well,
  • getting enough rest,
  • getting enough exercise,
  • meditating, and
  • participating in relaxing activities.

A healthy body and a calm mind can help you become more resilient.

Spiritual work, including

  • mediation
  • prayer, and
  • involvement in a religious community.

Creative activities, alone or with others:

  • dancing,
  • singing,
  • arts and crafts,
  • reading for fun, or
  • learning about the kinds of dilemmas or problems you are confronting, through novels, biographies or magazine articles.

Support, self-help, or common-interest groups. Many groups exist that address various problems and challenges--

  • becoming a new mother (groups),
  • recovering from addiction (groups),
  • growing older (groups), ...
  • understanding self-injury (groups),
  • living with a particular illness or disability (groups), or
  • separating from a long-term relationship (groups).
  • {And, of course, we would add: participating in one or more child-loss parent groups}.

At their best, these groups help people to feel less alone and to see individual concerns within a larger societal context.

Friendships and community.

Find and reach out to a community of

  • family,
  • friends,
  • neighbors, and
  • spiritual advisers

with whom you can celebrate and grieve life transitions. Sometimes a good listener is what we need most.

Working for social/political change.

Working to change social and economic factors that make life difficult, from expensive day care to racial discrimination on the job, can be meaningful, especially when the things you are trying to change are the things that cause you pain (for us, handling our child-loss grief; maintaining a safe community of support; keeping our bodies, minds, souls, behaviors, and spirits healthy; etc.).

Therapy as an option.

Sometimes those closest to you are unable or unwilling to talk about what's wrong, offer helpful advice, or are too much a part of your problem to assist you. Even when you have good support from people who care for you, you may still want additional help or a fresh perspective. If so, it can be useful to explore the option of therapy.

~From Our Bodies, Ourselves (2005)

Italicized comments, ours

What about you? What have you found to be helpful survival tips for our arduous journey? We welcome you to share your discoveries with us and our readers in a comment below! Thank you!

Picture, thanks to

For a longer list of healthy resilience-building exercises, the book invites us to their companion website link of


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