Navigating Grief and Loss

Facing the loss of a loved one or grieving for any reason can be distressing and life-altering. If you’re grappling with grief, loss, or a major life change, know that you’re not alone. Many people struggle to make sense of life in these situations. Finding ways to manage your shifting emotions can make all the difference in your journey through a difficult time. At Hinge Health, we understand the challenge of navigating grief and loss and want to share a few suggestions from our experts to help you through it. 

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Recognizing your feelings is an important part of dealing with grief and loss because when you push aside negative emotions, it can take longer to process your grief. Your feelings might shift from moment to moment, and it’s important to recognize that whatever emotion you are experiencing is valid and okay. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions including anger, denial, regret, and sadness — and sometimes more than one at a time. 

Many people experience stages of emotions in their healing process, but there is no “right way” to move through grief and loss. Grief is a process that takes time, so be patient with yourself and your feelings.

Take Good Care of Yourself

As difficult as it is, it’s really important to prioritize self-care when dealing with grief or loss. Self-care is about finding time for activities that replenish your reserves, reduce your stress, and give you a sense of well-being so you can keep moving forward. Self-care looks different for everyone, but it often involves making healthy choices around food, sleep, and mental and physical activity. If you need ideas for self-care, visit our Filling Your Cup — The Importance of Self-Care resource.

Connect With Others

It can be tempting to isolate yourself when you’re feeling down or missing a loved one, especially when life seems to be moving on without you. But social and spiritual connections are important for your well-being. Be intentional about connecting with supportive people in your life who are caring and compassionate. Consider volunteering, doing something unexpected for a friend or neighbor, or simply sharing a smile with a stranger.

Manage Your Energy

Managing grief and loss can be overwhelming and exhausting. If you find yourself struggling, managing your energy can be helpful. Identify activities that replenish your reserves so you can balance them with activities that drain your energy. If you know an event will be stressful or tiring for you, schedule an energy-recharging activity afterward to give yourself time to bounce back. This could be a phone call with a friend, a short walk by yourself, or time with a pet. Make a list of things that bring you energy and try to fit in a few each day. 

Get in the habit of checking in with yourself about how you are feeling and remember that it’s okay to allow yourself some down time. If you’re at a busy family or social event, give yourself permission to step away for a few deep breaths or take a short walk outside. 

Get Moving

Try to prioritize time for movement, since exercise and activity are a natural way to boost mood and energy. Research shows that even moderate exercise increases the production of feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These chemicals help relieve pain, regulate your mood, balance your body’s stress hormones, and improve your appetite and sleep cycles. 

Look for small ways you can include movement in your day. Even a short walk, stretching, or an exercise therapy session can improve your outlook. And if you find yourself in need of additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health coach. They’re there to help! 

Key Takeaways

  1. It’s normal to struggle with your emotions following a loss or major life change.

  2. Self-care and social connection help improve mood. 

  3. Prioritize activities that give you energy (e.g., movement) as a natural way to boost energy and mood. 


  1. Collins, D. (2021, April 28). Navigating grief: How to cope with the loss of a loved one. Retrieved from 

  2. DerSarkissian, C. (2020, November 9). Grief: Physical symptoms, effects on body, duration of process. Retrieved from 

  3. Collins, R. (2017, July 25). Exercise, depression, and the brain. Retrieved from