After more than a year of the global pandemic, people are grappling with grief worldwide. While vaccines promise hope and new beginnings, even as the world reopens many people still need effective ways to deal with their grief from the last year. Together, let’s explore how nature’s regenerative power and resilience can help you, or someone you know, cope with grief.
People often feel isolated when suffering grief, and with the safety measures needed to fight the global pandemic, these debilitating feelings have reached new heights. Grief often brings emotional ups and downs and feelings of uncertainty. Connecting with nature can provide a sense of stability and help people feel less alone. The predictable cycles in nature — daily, monthly, and seasonal — that affect the sun, moon, and changing seasons can be comfortingly constant and reliable at a time when everything feels like it’s changing.
Improve Mental Health
Evidence shows that being in nature can improve physical and mental health by strengthening immune systems and reducing depression and anxiety. When people experience grief, they often feel many other emotions, including anger, guilt, anxiety, and denial. Connecting with nature can make it easier to understand these feelings and replace them with acceptance and peace.
Develop a Deeper Understanding
Loss can be difficult for anyone to comprehend, but particularly young children. Although understanding won’t necessarily make a loss less sad, it can reduce feelings of confusion and guilt. Nature provides several examples of loss as a part of life — the death of an insect, falling leaves, or a new seedling growing from a dead tree. These naturally occurring events can sometimes more clearly illustrate the place of loss in life and death’s inevitability.
When people suffer grief from loss, it can help for them to commemorate a special place in nature to honor their loss. Visiting these places can give people the opportunity to connect with what they’ve lost through contemplative thought and may provide a chance to talk about their memories.
Let us know how you cope with grief and if any of these methods have helped you or loved ones.