Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss


The Counseling Center is here to offer support to you in these challenging times. We understand that there have been major disruptions in Faculty schedules and you have been asked to make some fundamental changes as to how you do your job. You are the front lines for support for your students. All the while, you remain worried for your family, your community and yourself.


      Self-Compassion As Self Care for Grief: 4 Week Group in Frederick, MD     

Self-care during grief can help you suffer less in mind, body and spirit. Just doing one of them can start the ball rolling, so don’t feel like you need to do all 9 at once. The list is in no particular order, so scan through and pick one or two that feels “doable.” In a few days, try one more. Don’t worry if you backslide from time to time, just do your best!

1. Be Kind To Yourself

Grief is painful, and though it may seem far-fetched, there is one person capable of offering you comfort 24 hours a day and seven days a week. That person is you. While self-compassion is not a cultural norm, it should be. Self-compassion has tremendous healing power, and even makes us nicer to be around for others. Treat yourself as you would treat a beloved friend, in word, thought and deed. Give yourself space to feel the pain of grief, and also give yourself permission to take a break when you need it.

Try This Self-Care Practice: Place one hand on your heart, and the other hand on your cheek. Say to yourself “I care about you. I care about you.” This is a radical act of self-care and kindness!
2. Get A Check-Up

When you are grieving, your risk for illness increases due to stress. And while grief is a natural reaction to loss, and not an illness itself, this is a good time good time to check in with a healthcare professional. This check-up will give you the opportunity to attend to any pre-existing health conditions that the stress of grief could negatively impact.

3. Get The Right Amount Of Sleep

If you are experiencing grief-related insomnia, follow these good sleep hygiene for grief. If you are sleeping more than you did before your loss, know that this, too, is normal, and may be exactly what you need. If too much sleep is impacting you negatively, in addition to practicing good sleep hygiene, increase your exposure to sunlight, particularly upon waking.

Try This Self-Care Practice: Read through the Grief & Sleep Tips, and try the guided meditation at the end of the article.
4. Eat Healthy, Drink Water

This is tough for some of us even when we are not grieving, but now is the time to tend to your body with regular, healthy meals. Drink plenty of water, as it will help your physical and mental state. Avoid alcohol, as it can upset your sleep schedule and depress your mood.

NOTE TO SELF: Remember to Breathe – Maine DOE Newsroom

5. Breathe Mindfully

Breathing fully and with intention accomplishes two things. First, it turns off the stress response known as fight-flight-freeze. Second, it focuses your mind on the present moment, which can stimulate your mental well-being.

Try This Self-Care Practice:Take several one to five minute breaks throughout the day. Close your eyes and take three long breaths—focus on creating a nice, long exhale. Spend the next few minutes just focusing on your natural breath.
6. Move Your Body

The right kind of physical movement will help your body release the tension and pain that comes with grief. Whether you take a leisurely stroll outside, practice yoga for grief, or go back to the gym, exercise will contribute to better sleep, mental stability, and an overall sense of well-being. Bonus points if you breathe and drink water while you exercise!

Try This Self-Care Practice: Create your yoga practice for grief.
7. Connect With Others

One of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental well-being is to connect with other human beings (and animals!) who care about you. Go for a walk with a trusted friend, or schedule lunch with a family member with whom you can share mutual support. Sometimes when we are grieving we feel like our existing support system has fallen apart, so consider joining a peer support group or schedule an appointment with a compassionate grief counselor or therapist who is comfortable talking about grief.

8. Express & Create

You do not need to be a professional writer or artist to benefit from creative expression. Putting your thought and feelings into word and pictures can help you make sense out of seemingly senseless feelings. Write daily in your grief journal, or make a collage to express your grief with magazines and glue sticks. Crafting activities, such as knitting and drawing in adult coloring books, can help you focus and activate the creative side of your brain, which can increase your resilience and contribute to a better sense of well-being.

Try This Self-Care Practice: Choose a Grief Journal and then use these grief journal prompts. You can also sign up for a free account, where you can write letters to your loved one.
9. Meditate

There are many forms of meditation to help with grief. This includes contemplative prayer, mindfulness and mantra based meditations, focus and breath practices, guided visualization, walking meditation and yoga (meditation in motion). Meditation helps you take control of your mind and stay in the present, which contributes to your mental well-being.  Practice regularly. The frequency with which you practice is more important than the length of your individual session. Start with two to five minutes a day. If you can, work up to 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Try This Self-Care Practice: Download or stream these free guided meditations for grief or sign up for the free Mindfulness & Grief Book Bonuses.



Self-Care During Grief Tips: How to Create a Practical Self-Care Plan

(read the whole article here): self-care-during-grief-tips


(link from our faculty webpage How Faculty Members Can Support Students in Traumatic Times here)


Here is a short, 5 minute video on

 How to Deal With Loss or Grief of Loved Ones

Short on time? Here is a short yoga video On Loss, Grief

Yoga for Grief with Alex Howlett

 yoga pic



Need to escape? Here are some virtual getaways:

Now insert the great resources from the AMAZING virtual care package for:

Six virtual tours you can take if you're stuck at home

virtual park tours

Virtual museum tours

Virtual concerts




These are difficult times. Everyone is struggling! If you need support, ask!

NMT’s Employee Assistance Program: or (800) 348-3232.

Roots Counseling

Socorro Mental Health

Suicide Prevention LifeLine

New Mexico Crisis Line



Coping with the death of your pet

How to take care of yourself, your family, and other pets when you've had to say goodbye

When a person you love dies, it's natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and comfort.

Unfortunately, you don't always get that understanding when a pet dies. Some people still don't understand how central animals can be in people's lives, and a few may not get why you're grieving over "just a pet."

Members of the family

We know how much pets mean to most people. People love their pets and consider them members of their family. Caregivers often celebrate their pets' birthdays, confide in their animals and carry pictures of them in their wallets. So when a beloved pet dies, it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow.

Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you've already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.

Finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

The grief process

The grief process is as individual as the person, lasting days for one person, years for another. The process typically begins with denial, which offers protection until individuals can realize their loss.

Some caregivers may try bargaining with a higher power, themselves, or even their pet to restore life. Some feel anger, which may be directed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Caregivers may also feel guilt about what they did or did not do; they may feel that it is inappropriate for them to be so upset.

After these feelings subside, caregivers may experience true sadness or grief. They may become withdrawn or depressed. Acceptance occurs when they accept the reality of their loss and remember their animal companion with decreasing sadness.

Coping with grief

While grief is a personal experience, you need not face your loss alone. Many forms of support are available, including pet-bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online pet-bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles.

Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:


The loss of a pet may be a child's first experience with death. The child may blame themself, their parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And they may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others they love may be taken from them.

Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet's return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is ok and help them work through their feelings.


Coping with the loss of a pet can be particularly hard for seniors. Those who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. A pet's death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What's more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver and that the decision to get another pet hinges on the person's physical and financial ability to care for a new pet.

For all these reasons, it's critical that senior pet owners take immediate steps to cope with their loss and regain a sense of purpose.

If you are a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet-loss support hotline, even volunteering at a local humane society.

Other pets

Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close bond with the deceased pet. Even if they were not the best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. (However, if your remaining pets continue to act out of sorts, there could actually be a medical problem that requires your veterinarian's attention.)

Give surviving pets lots of TLC and try to maintain a normal routine. It's good for them and for you.

Getting another pet

Rushing into this decision isn't fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has their own unique personality and a new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You'll know when the time is right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, considering whether you're ready, and paying close attention to your feelings.

When you're ready, remember that your local animal shelter or rescue is a great place to find your next special friend.