Grief and Mental Wellbeing in the New Year

Author: Raylene Moore

Another year has come to an end and a fresh new year is beginning. Oftentimes this season comes with thoughts of positivity, goal setting, and self-reflection, but for those of us coping with the loss of a loved one, the start of a new year can feel daunting. Whether the loss was decades ago or very recent, the dawn of a new year can leave us yearning for our loved ones, and we can often find ourselves combating difficult emotions such as sadness, anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, or hopelessness. While the rest of the world puts a heavy emphasis on physical health during this season, for those facing these complicated emotions, it is more important than ever to remember to prioritize our mental health as well.


man relaxing near water front


5 Tips on How to Prioritize Mental Health


woman resting

1. Rest

Grief can be exhausting and can come in waves, so give yourself grace and be flexible. Listen to your body and mind and get as much rest as you can. Also be aware that rest does not always mean sleep, but sleep is an important component of rest. 

TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® Webinar: Catching some Zzz’s – Finding Rest when Stressed


2. Spending Time with Friends and Family

Taking time alone can be a good thing, but too much isolation can have negative effects on physical and mental health as well. Connect with family, friends, or those in your community to establish a healthy balance. 

TAPS Article: Solitude and Knowing When to Reach Out

woman eating apple

3. Healthy Eating

Our bodies and minds are interwoven and the fuel we ingest can directly affect our thoughts and feelings. A well-balanced diet is essential as we withstand the stresses of grieving and can be achieved by eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and drinking plenty of water. 

TAPS Article: Nutrition and Stress

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4. Setting Boundaries

Family and friends want to help, and that help can be lifesaving. At times, however, it can feel like too much of a good thing. This is a normal feeling, so feel free to set boundaries for yourself. Decide what boundaries are important and healthy for you and communicate your desires to those around you.

TAPS Article: Setting Boundaries While Grieving

Man at computer

5. Meet with Professionals

Talking about your struggles with a mental health professional provides an opportunity to express your emotions while learning tools to find your way forward. 

TAPS Article: Will Trauma Grief Counseling Help?

TAPS Community Based Care Team is here to Help

Taking extra time for self-care and prioritizing our mental health can feel challenging to face alone. The task of finding a trusted therapist who specializes in grief, or a support group which will understand our daily struggles, can quickly become overwhelming and leave us feeling more alone. That is where your TAPS family can step in to help. The TAPS Community Based Care Team’s mission is to connect you with professionals in your community who specialize and understand grief and trauma such as skilled therapists, group therapists, support groups, bereavement groups, parenting support, and supportive community organizations.

TAPS is a family filled with care, compassion, and hope. We are here for you 24/7, whether you need someone to listen or an opportunity to remember and honor your loved one. Our National Military Survivor Helpline is available 24/7/365 – call us anytime at 800-959-TAPS (8277) or email the Community Based Care Team directly at

Raylene B. Moore, MA, is the Community Based Care Manager for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Photos: Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels