Ways I Coped After Losing My Husband

midsection of woman holding coffee cup on table
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First of all, this is not a comprehensive list.  You will need to find the things that fill you and refresh your spirit.  Of course, it’s not healthy to indulge in some of these too often.  Rather, you need to make your own list, and when you are having a hard day, pick something reasonable that you can do and do it.  Know that because your life has become infinitely more difficult and you no longer have a husband to pour into you and encourage you, you will have to do more things for yourself.  You cannot give to others or to your children out of emptiness.  It’s something I had to learn, and let me tell you sister, it’s OK to do what you need to do to keep going and to be the woman and mother that God wants you to be.

  1. Listen to silly music. (I listen to pop hits from the ‘90s.)  The Christian music I listened to before I lost Trevor became too heavy for me.  Everything reminded me of what I was going through.  I listen to it occasionally now, but sometimes it’s nice to just have some fun, lighthearted music to listen to.
  2. Exercise for stress relief. You can find free workout videos for all fitness levels on Youtube.
  3. Do yoga. Again, there are lots of free videos on Youtube.  As I get older, yoga helps my back and neck hurt less.  (Sometimes, this is interrupted though by a toddler that crawls on my back while I’m trying to do it!)
  4. Change what you’re doing. When I was having a hard day, we might quit homeschool early and just play a game together.  We also might have a frozen pizza for dinner so I didn’t have to cook and just watch a movie together.  Take the kids to the gas station and let them pick out an ice cream or candy bar; you’d be amazed at how much my kids enjoy this simple treat.
  5. Call a friend.
  6. Hire a sitter or ask a friend from church to just watch your kids for a couple hours so you can have a moment alone.
  7. Find an outlet for your emotions: write, play an instrument, sing, paint, draw…even if you’re not artistic. (You don’t have to show it to anyone.)girl playing guitar
  8. Do something new and unexpected with your kids. I took them to a jumping trampoline park and climbed a rock wall with them.  They thought it was awesome that I did it.  They wanted me to do it again.  I told them they’d have to give me a few weeks!
  9. On “special” days that become hard (like your anniversary or your husband’s birthday), plan a trip. It can be fairly close if you have little ones, and you can go during an off-peak time to save money, but being away helps tremendously.  You can also rent a house instead of getting a hotel and that way, you can take food instead of going out.  It saves both money and sanity.  If you need to, ask another family to go with you to help with the kids or to help share the cost.
  10. Surround yourself with pretty things. I bought a new comforter from Target that was dusty pink with ruffles.  I bought pretty curtains and a pretty painting and some cheap silk flowers.  I shopped around so I didn’t spend too much money, but just changing the way things looked greatly improved my spirits.  You can also shop at thrift stores or antique stores to get good deals or look for sales or promo codes online.
  11. Simplify.  I don’t cook as elaborate of meals as I used to, and I also do grocery pickup instead of having to take my kids into the grocery store.
  12. Spend some alone time with your kids.  My oldest is old enough to watch his siblings, so sometimes, I will tuck in my littlest and then take one of the other kids out for ice cream or some other treat just to give them some special alone time with me.  (I take my oldest out when my in-laws have the youngest two.)  I also bought a farmhouse, folding table at an antique store and put it in the corner of my room to use as a makeshift desk and also for impromptu tea parties with my daughter.  Your kids need to know that they still matter and it also opens the door for them to open up to you if they’re struggling with something.
  13. Be honest with your kids about your feelings and their’s. Don’t downplay your emotions or their’s when you’re having a rough day.
  14. Get your nails done, or just go buy a pretty nail polish and paint them yourself.
  15. Read The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.
  16. Get up early enough to spend plenty of time in the Word and with the Lord in prayer each morning. I write my prayer requests down in a prayer notebook to better organize and get the most out of my time with the Lord each day.   woman praying over bible
  17. I go to the spa. I used to consider this so self-indulgent, but occasionally, it’s so relaxing to go get a facial or massage and just be pampered for an hour.
  18. Play games with your kids and be silly together.
  19. Go on a family walk or look at the stars together.
  20. Lower your standards. You will drive yourself into despair by trying to do all the things you did before you lost your husband.  You’re only one person; don’t try to do it all.
  21. Give yourself the same grace you would give to a friend who was in your shoes. If you wouldn’t criticize her for doing/not doing something, then don’t criticize yourself.
  22. At the end of each day, think about what you accomplished, not what you didn’t.
  23. Have a glass of wine or eat chocolate. Or both.
    1. Call a friend. (I know I already included this, but it’s important!)
    2. Dance and be silly. My daughter and I love dancing to this song:


  24. Take a nap when necessary.  Sleep in when necessary.  Go to bed early when necessary.  Single parenting is exhausting, and so is grieving.  Allow your body and mind to get the rest it needs.  Otherwise, you may end up looking like this:et
  25. Finally, speak truth to your soul.  Preach the truths found in Scripture to your heart over and over again and ask the Holy Spirit to help you feel them in your heart.  May God grant you hope and peace and joy again as you walk this road.  Know that you are loved by an almighty God who still has plans for you and will never abandon you, even when life feels so very dark. bible and coffee




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