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Mental Health and Self-care: Creating a Coping Schedule for Working While Mourning

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Learning how to mourn a loss is an interesting process. One that, if done often enough, can be perfected. It’s right up there with learning how to self-soothe. Which, arguably, many learn when they’re young. But if you don’t learn to self-soothe at a young age, mourning a loss as an adult can be quite difficult. Because you have yet to learn to trust that things will be okay. 

I find I have patterns I follow when I mourn. Ways I learn to exist. Ways that help me function. Ways that help me get through each day. 

Like wearing the same thing every day when I’m at home. Taking it off at night and checking for stains, then laying it out for the next day. Rotating preset outfits for when I have to go out. Not worrying about washing my hair. Relying on dry shampoo to get me through the week.

Or like moving. Even if it feels like I don’t have the energy to do so. Making sure I do yoga or stretch at least once a day. Writing down what I eat and tracking how much water I consume. Following my sensory diet. Writing down what I accomplished in a day. Even if it’s just getting out of bed. Writing down my thoughts so I can be aware of my needs. Especially if I’m in the earliest stages and not yet able to feel my feelings.

And when I’m in mourning while still having to work, I find it especially important to stick to a schedule. One I can abide by. With breaks and realistic expectations. Otherwise, I risk becoming overwhelmed, which could throw me straight into feeling angry. Having a meltdown. Making everything more difficult. And putting myself at risk to self-harm.

So here’s my coping schedule for working while mourning; if you’re doing the same, I hope you feel better soon:

Mornings: meditate, drink cold water, drink hot tea, watch something while I wake up, write down my thoughts, do yoga while listening to music, eat and take my supplements, work

Afternoons: drink cold water and hot tea while working, eat lunch or a snack, check in with myself after working for a few hours, take a break if I’m feeling tired or sick, do yoga, jump on my mini trampoline, stretch, listen to music or watch something as a break

Early Evenings: listen to music, read and write, exercise or move with household chores, eat a snack, drink cold water, cook dinner

Evenings: eat dinner, relax with my husband, do yoga or stretch, write down any lingering thoughts from the day, drink hot tea, take natural supplements to be able to fall asleep so I can get up and do it all over again

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Mental Health and Self-care: Creating a Coping Schedule for Working While Mourning

Jenna Grace

Jenna Grace is a writer and educator with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) diagnoses. She writes and speaks about topics including healing from trauma, coping with neurological disorder and practicing mindfulness in order to help others and to explore new meaning. Visit her website for more of her stories.

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APA Reference
Grace, J. (2019). Mental Health and Self-care: Creating a Coping Schedule for Working While Mourning. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Nov 2019
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