Saturday Morning Message: Practicing Self Care

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

This man is doing one of the first things I do after I get up in the morning — have a cup of coffee and try to reflect on my plans for the day. An article from the TAPS archives titled Open Your Heart to Healing: Emotional Engagement in Your Own Life by Emily Muñoz gives a list of ways to help practice self care both physically and mentally. In addition to this article, there were several responses that came in this week that might add more strategies to the way we can keep ourselves healthy and practice self-care.  

Men Retreat

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. By sharing coping strategies, together we become stronger. I am always looking for questions for future messages. You can also submit favorite songs that are meaningful to you. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in the week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send your response to me by Tuesday morning of the following week. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

Carol Lane
Mother of Byron


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

This week’s question came from a TAPS Care Group. It is:  What was or were the kindest things said or done for you that pierced your grief fog early in your loss? It might be good to share these thoughts not only because they helped us, but also to add to ways we can help others in their grief. We look forward to your answers.


♫ Song for the Week

The song this week comes from Cheryl, mother of Jack. She wrote that one of the songs that lifts her is Never Alone by Barlow Girl. Cheryl wrote, “It talks about how my loved one is by me in my heart.” 

If you have a song that is special to you or reminds you of your loved one, please send it along with a sentence or two about what makes this song distinctive. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a playlist on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. You can sign up for Spotify for free to listen to the playlist.The playlist is called Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Songs of Love and Remembrance. I often listen to it and think of our TAPS family while I am on the computer.


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: How do you practice self care in your life?

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.

From Winona, wife of Cliff: How do I practice self care?  By participating in the things that bring me joy. Recently I found a group that meets to kayak on our local lakes once a week in the evenings. I have discovered that it helps me relax and I have made new friends. If I am feeling overwhelmed, I simply opt out of the activities and rest at home.

From Cheryl, mother of Jack: I try to go on walks (I have a dog that keeps reminding me to do that). I go to a fitness center for a Pilates class three times a week. I try to make good food choices. I take vitamins and supplements. I try to have devotions when I get up in the morning. As I do that, I try to list about seven things I am grateful for. That does help a lot. I try to get eight hours of sleep, but it never works — probably a combination of grief and aging. I try to read every day — a fiction book, somehow helps turn my mind off the things I am going through in life and relaxes me. I try to reach out to others everyday in whatever way I can, greeting a neighbor on my walk, maybe a phone call or text. As far as my walks and my sleep, I wear a fitness watch that helps me strive for things I need to do, walk enough and sleep enough. Sometimes music is a big help to me — I might find nature sounds, or some 50s or 60s tunes, sometimes worship music. I try to visit a nearby lake sometimes and it shifts my vision of life to ground me. I visit my grief counselor every month. Of course, I don't always get these things done, but I will always attempt to. If I do not try to take care of myself, I won't be able to help others. Since we have been broken, we will always have to try to fix it.

From Betty, mother of Michael: Self-care has taken many forms over the two years since my son’s s death. At times a hard run to stimulate endorphins has helped me push through a hard day. Other times it is simply curling up with Michael’s 85-pound “puppy,” holding her because I can no longer hold him. I also give myself the “gift” of connection with the TAPS family by attending events and participating with the online community to nourish and replenish my leaking heart.

I have discovered there is no magic formula of self-care in this rollercoaster grief journey, but I have learned to listen to my heart. Somedays I want to lose myself in the photo albums that trace Michel’s life. Other days I know that activity would send me to a pint of ice cream with a spoon (rather than a hard run).

For me, self-care begins with self-awareness — knowing my boundaries and knowing my heart. Then, God-awareness— remembering that He is perpetually covering me with His mercy and love.  


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Visit the TAPS Online Community Calendar for this week's schedule of text and video chats and other offerings. We have a virtual gathering most days of the week. Whether you want to share your story or just read how other survivors are sharing and coping, this online grief support community is a way for you to develop and strengthen your connections with TAPS.

Other Items and Events of Interest

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Women's Empowerment Programming

If you’re looking to connect with other surviving women, you may just find your sisterhood during our fall weekly Women’s Empowerment sessions! These sessions are open to all TAPS women wrestling with questions of identity and purpose after loss. You can join this safe, supportive online environment via webcam. Our weekly schedule offers sessions on Tuesday through Friday each week.

Central Regional Seminar 

Join us at the Central Regional Seminar on  November 13 to 15 for a time of sharing, hope, and healing. Our seminars are designed to meet you where you are and help you gain coping skills that will help you find meaning and purpose as you move forward on your grief journey. We are working to make arrangements for this event with safety in mind and look forward to being together again. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, TAPS provides all lodging, meals, materials, activities, and T-shirts at no cost to you.

Dare to Lead - Cohort 3

Whether you are looking to enhance your resume or just want to pick up a new skill or two, we are excited to offer a third cohort of our popular Dare to Lead series of workshops, beginning on Sunday, November 15. These sessions are open to TAPS Survivors wanting to bring more courage to their workplace, home, community, or school. It is applicable for both formal and informal leaders (all of us), executives, visionaries, and healers across all spectrums.

Creating New Holiday Traditions - Webinar

Accessing a spirit of holiday cheer in the midst of grief can be challenging and many may feel compelled to skip the holidays altogether. Especially this year, when so many gatherings and travel may be limited, cultivating holiday traditions that honor your grief and promote connection with others can be very healing. Join the TAPS Institute to discuss creative ways to engage in the holidays in ways that meet you where you are in your grief journey. This Creating New Holiday Traditions webinar is free and will be held Thursday, November 19 from 12:00 to- 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

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About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication; written and contributed to by survivors. The primary focus of the Saturday Morning Message is to foster peer-based connection for support and encouragement.  It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive atmosphere where we can openly share in a non-judgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable, and explore any opinions/ideas shared that are most beneficial to you on your individual journey. Content submitted for inclusion in the Saturday Morning Message is edited for spacing considerations, grammatical corrections and may be used in other TAPS publications.  

To subscribe or contribute to the Saturday Morning Message email

If you ever need to speak to someone regarding an urgent matter or just need a listening ear, the loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please feel free to contact TAPS at 800-959-8277.