Self-Love, Self-Care Practices to Manage Grief, Stress, Anxiety…

by Brandi Lytle
Pink Plaid Background with 3 Hearts on "Self-Love, Self-Care Practices to Manage Grief, Stress, Anxiety" on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
SENSITIVE WITH A WOBBLE WARNING:  In this post, I speak candidly about grief, discussing losing my Nana, Grammy, Daddy, and best friend.  I believe you’ll feel empowered by the end, with ideas about self-love, self-care practices to manage grief, stress, anxiety…  But there is liable to be a wobble along the way.  I know I wobbled as I wrote this…

The “Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, Grief, Stress, Anxiety” Series…

In February, I started writing a series entitled “Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, Grief, Stress, Anxiety.”  Originally, I thought I’d be finishing this series today.  But over the past weeks, I’ve taken a break from the series, as there were other topics I wanted (and/or needed) to discuss on the blog.  Last week, I decided to alter my plan again.  I was supposed to talk about low-carb, organic foods to manage endometriosis.  Instead, I discussed vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free products to manage stress and anxiety.  This week, I’m going to make another adjustment.  I’ve decided yet again to put off talking about food.  Instead, I want to chat about self-love, self-care practices to manage grief, stress, and anxiety.

Why have I made this decision?  Why am I straying from my plan when, by nature, I am a person who likes to make a plan and keep that plan?

Struggling with Grief…

Well, over the past week, I have been struggling with grief.  Not grief over my childlessness.  Grief over losing my Nana, my Grammy, my Daddy, and my best friend.

Missing My Nana & My Grammy…

I am in year one of grieving the passing of both my Nana and my Grammy.  This was the first “M” Day without them on this Earth.  Not getting to buy them cards…  Feeling their absence…  Well, it brings tears to my eyes.

Missing My Daddy…

Wednesday, 11th May is the 21st anniversary of my Daddy going to Heaven.  And for some reason, I’m finding this quite difficult.  You’d think after 21 years that I’d have gotten a handle on this.  But losing my Grammy (my Dad’s Mom) has made the thought of this day almost unbearable.  When she was here…

I had to stop typing for a minute because my vision is blurred, as tears are falling.  The pain that I’ve been keeping in check is starting to overtake my heart.

Missing My Best Friend…

This morning, one of my Facebook memories was a selfie that Jennifer, my best friend, had taken of us four girls—herself, her twin, me, and our other childhood friend.  Seeing Jennifer’s beautiful smile, reading her comments…

Expletives are flying about my head.  I miss her so damn much!

Reaching out for help…

I tried to tell Dane how I was feeling over the weekend.  That I am sad.  Normally, my husband is quite understanding and often has the perfect thing to say.  But he is under a lot of stress right now.  So, his words were less than comforting…

He said that he wished I’d just focus on being happy.  That we have a beautiful life with so much to be thankful for.  That all my loved ones are in a better place.

Everything he said is true.  I do have a lot to be happy about.  I do have a beautiful life.  I do have so much to be thankful for.  And all my loved ones are in a far better place.

But at that moment, none of that made me feel any better.  In fact, in that moment, those words made me feel even more alone.  Which made me feel even sadder.

In need of self-love, self-care practices to manage grief . . .

So, I am in desperate need of some self-love, self-care practices to manage grief…  Because the dull ache is engulfing my heart, and I must stop crying!


One thing that helps me process my emotions is writing.  Which is why I decided to sit down and write this blog today.  It wasn’t on the original “to-do” list.  But there are times when we should toss the plan and just do what we need to do.  And right now, I need to talk to you, fabulous ones.

“Good Things”

Another thing that helps me is focusing on “good things.”  Now, there is a time and place for looking at the bright side.  There is also a time and place for grieving.  I mean, even Jesus wept.  A few days ago, when Dane told me to focus on being happy, to focus on our beautiful life…  Well, it truly wasn’t helpful.  Because I needed to grieve.  And you know what?  I gave myself permission to be sad, despite what he said.  But today…  Well, I’ve had a good cry.  And now, I’m ready to focus on all the little things that make me happy.  So, I’m going to write out a list of things that make me smile, things that bring me joy…  Stuff I like to call “good things.”

So, what makes me happy?
  • Pink
  • Decorating
  • Sticky Notes!
  • Tiny Spoons & Tiny Forks
  • Hello Kitty
  • Pumpkins
  • Peppermint
  • Throw Pillows
  • Cozy Socks
  • Photos
  • Photo Collages
  • Photo Books
  • Organizing Photos
  • Taking Photos
  • Looking through photos
  • Butterflies
  • Super Soft Blankets
  • Color Coding
  • Herbs
  • Potted Plants
  • Candles
  • Twinkle Lights
  • Pinecones
  • Aerials
  • Lipgloss
  • Lotion
  • Essential Oils
  • Cards
  • Cute Mugs
  • Hot Tea in the Morning
  • Strawberry Jam
What makes me smile?
  • A really great pen
  • Reindeer
  • Van Gogh
  • Especially Starry Night
  • Cute Stickers
  • Hello Kitty Stickers
  • Snow!
  • Jeans that make your butt look great
  • Shoes
  • Red Hearts
  • Purple Hearts
  • Green Hearts
  • A spectacular messy bun
  • Paw Prints
  • Plaid
  • Pinstripes
  • Did I say pink?!
  • Olive Green
  • Music!
  • Mexican Food
  • Italian Food
  • Pizza
  • Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Sea Salt Peppermint Bark
  • Chocolate Shakes
  • Peppermint Shakes
  • Ice-Cream
What brings me joy?
  • Cute Socks
  • Fun Socks
  • Leggings
  • Comfy Clothes!
  • Sweaters
  • Orange Roses
  • Rose Perfume
  • Singing
  • A Clean House
  • Organization
  • A Vase of Fresh Flowers
  • Tulips
  • Calla Lilies
  • Fall!
  • A fire in the fireplace
  • S’mores
  • Writing notes to loved ones
  • Chocolate Brown
  • Autumn Tones
  • Sunday afternoons in the Snug
  • Actually, anytime in the Snug
  • With a mug of hot tea
  • Wreaths
  • Decorative Plates
  • Highland Cows
  • Dark Green Velvet
  • Old Fashioned Sleds & Sleighs
  • Dog Mom Stuff
  • LOVE
  • Cards & Calls on my Birthday
  • Cards & Calls anytime really…
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • And PINK!

Feeling lighter…

You know, I feel lighter having written out all the little things that make me smile.  And I realized that I wore pink lipstick today.  I have a pink pumpkin on my desk, as well as Hello Kitty stuff.  I’ve written in my Not So Mommy… planner with pink, purple, blue, & red pens.  (My favorite pens that I use to color-code!)  I’m wearing comfy clothes, which include leggings and cozy socks.  My hair is in a pretty great messy bun.  Last night, I made creamy pesto for dinner, using fresh Basil that I’m growing.  (One of my potted plants!)  This morning, I did some cleaning & organizing around the house.  Later this week, I plan to work on my photos.  Today, I shared an inspirational quote over at Not So Mommy…  And I will spend this evening in the Snug with my hubby, binging “Friday Night Lights,” eating take-out, & drinking hot tea from my favorite mug.

Some Final Thoughts…

So, that’s what self-love, self-care practices to manage grief look like for me.  And for now, the ache has subsided, the tears are gone.  I feel lighter and more joyful.  I have no doubt that the pain will return…  When it does, I’ll embrace it for a moment.  I’ll allow it to wash over me, to engulf my heart.  Then, I’ll wear all the pink and sing at the top of my lungs to my favorite songs as I drive to aerials.  (That sounds like a plan for this Thursday!)

Be kind to yourself, fabulous one.

Thanks for reading.


*Note:  This blog was written 10th May 2022 and scheduled to publish Monday, 16th May.

To read more in the “Managing Menopause, Endometriosis, Grief, Stress, Anxiety” Series, just click a title below…
Fabulous one, what self-love, self-care practices do you use to manage grief, stress, & anxiety?  What “good things” make you happy, bring you joy & a smile?!  If you feel comfortable, please tell us about it in the comments…
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Sherry May 16, 2022 - 5:42 pm

This blog made me tear up, want to jump on a plane for an in person hug, and chuckle at your happy lists. You find so joy even amidst crushing grief. I love you.❤💜💚🧡

Brandi Lytle May 20, 2022 - 3:31 pm

I love you, too…


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