Between the rush of Thanksgiving and the calm before the storm of Christmas, November may be the perfect month to take a break from life and try to de-stress.

We’ve been thinking about how we all hold the stress of loss and grief inside and how it impacts our health and well-being over time. It’s hard to slow down and take time for yourself, but here are a few stress relieving tips that seemed to help us. Please share your tips and thoughts as well in the comments section, so we can share with others.

  1. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is be out of the house. Push yourself to do it. Being out with people, doing an activity that you enjoy relieves your mind and body from the stress you may be feeling when you are alone.
  2. Talk about how you are feeling – don’t hold it inside. The more we bottle up our feelings the more stress we feel.  Find a friend, family member or professional counselling you can share your thoughts and tears with – ignoring or bottling up  your feelings will not make things better.
  3. Don’t forget to exercise.  Even a 30 minute walk a few times a week can help reduce physical stress.
  4. Be the good. If you have time, volunteer at your favourite local charity. There are always lots of organizations looking for help.  We have a few listed, but you probably know others that spark your interests.  Giving back to the community also gives back to you.
  5. Remember to be grateful for what you have. In spite of loss, we all have things we should remember to feel grateful for – make a list and add to it each day.
  6. Change your thoughts – when you start to feel negative, actively change your thinking to something positive.
  7. SMILE.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just smile, but even the physical act of smiling tells your brain there is a change of mood and that works on your whole body.