A woman sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs looking sad next to a window.
Faith and Health

15 Practical Tips for Dealing with Grief Over Health Issues

Any loss can be hard to deal with. Whether that is the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, or even our health.  

Every loss hurts.  

So, how do we practically deal with grief over our health issues? How do we lessen the hurt of those hard moments?  

And how do we lean on God to be our strength in our suffering? 

What are the 5 stages of grief?

When we deal with any kind of loss, including the loss of our health, we often go through specific stages of grief.  

The 5 stages of grief are: 

  • 1) Denial  
  • 2) Anger  
  • 3) Bargaining  
  • 4) Depression  
  • 5) Acceptance 

How long does grief last for?

While most people take a year or so to grieve, there’s really no set timetable. Greif can come and go just like the waves on the ocean.  

We may be getting along just fine, and then something comes up to trigger our feelings of grief all over again. 

And that’s okay.  

When those moments come, we can let them drive us back to God. To find comfort in His arms as we once again deal with grief. 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  

-1 Peter 5:7 NIV
A woman in a plaid shirt with her head bowed onto her hands in prayer. And the words, "Hold onto Jesus."

15 Practical Tips for Dealing with Grief

The following 15 practical tips are all healthy ways to deal with grief so that even in our darkest moments we can find some comfort and peace.  

1) Get into God’s Word.

One of the best things we can do is get into Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word written for us. To encourage, inspire, and challenge us.  

In its pages we read the stories of other people who struggled . . . and the amazing ways God worked in their lives as they trusted Him.  

We read of God’s passionate love for us. And of the many promises He’s made to us.  

All of these things can give us something to hold onto when the going gets tough. 

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” 

-Philippians 4:13 NLT

2) Meditate and Memorize Scripture.

Another great thing to do is meditate on a verse or passage in Scripture.

By taking the time to read through it slowly we can think about what it really means. We can let the words wash over our broken hearts, reminding us that no matter what God is with us. (Deut. 31:8) 

Taking the time to be still before the Lord gives us a chance to let His Holy Spirit comfort us and reassure us. To give us the strength we need to keep going. (Phil. 4:13) 

While we’re meditating on a verse, it’s also a great time to work on memorizing it.  

By taking the time to memorize a few verses in Scripture, we hide them in our hearts and minds. And then the Holy Spirit can bring them up at the perfect time, to inspire and encourage us even in our darkest moments.  

This is why memorizing Scripture is so important.  

It really does make a difference. 

“Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”  

-Colossians 2:7 NLT
A woman with an open Bible in her lap while sitting in a row of chairs. And the verse, "The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth." -Psalm 145:18 NLT

3) Pray.

It may seem kind of obvious that we should take the time to pray. But when we’re feeling down it can also be hard to do. We often want to just numb out or find a way to distract ourselves from the pain.  

But God wants to help us work through the pain.  

Dealing with grief and depression is never easy. But there is hope.

Just like a physical wound needs to be cleaned out, have healing salve put on, and then be bandaged . . .  the wounds on our hearts need the same things.  

As we pray Jesus can help us clean out negative thought patterns or untruths we’re tempted to believe. He can comfort us with His words and caring Presence. And He can bandage us up . . . by wrapping us in His love.  

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” 

-Psalm 147:3 NLT

4) Turn up the praise!

Nothing helps our moments of grief like choosing to praise our King.  

It helps us take our eyes off our circumstances so we can fix our eyes on Him. It reminds us of how amazing God really is . . . and how grateful we should be to Him for everything.  

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

-Hebrews 12:2 NIV
A black and white picture of a woman with her eyes closed while looking up and her hands folded in prayer. And the words, "Fix your eyes on Jesus."

 5) Practice gratitude.

Just like praise helps us, thinking about all the things we have to be grateful for helps us move into a more positive mindset. 

No matter how hard things get, there’s always a reason to be thankful.  

  • Like a beautiful sunrise.  
  • The sound of the rain hitting the window.  
  • The laughter of a child.  
  • The breath in our lungs.  

Or even the fact that we can cry out to Jesus, knowing full well, that He gets it. 

Because He faced His own awful moments of anguish and grief, so He understands what we’re going through.  

The God who created everything also draws close to us to comfort us in our suffering.  

Which is pretty amazing! 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  

-Matthew 5:4 NIV
Flowers on pieces of paper on the side of the picture. And the words, "The God who created everything also draws close to us to comfort us in our suffering."

6) Think about eternity.

A great way to hold onto hope while dealing with grief is to remember eternity.  

This life is not all there is. Because of Jesus, we know there’s so much more awaiting us.  

Thinking about what we have to look forward to makes it a little easier to deal with the hard things we’re going through.  

We can rest in the fact that someday everything will be made right. Someday He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.  

And someday we will have bodies that work perfectly fine.  

Can I get an AMEN?!? 

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”   

-Romans 8:18 NLT

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 

-Revelation 21:4 NLT
Clouds in the sky over a beautiful sunrise with a field and trees. And the words, "Thinking about what we have to look forward to makes it a little easier to deal with the hard things we are going through."

7) Journal about it.

Writing things down helps us move from the emotional right side of our brain to our more analytical left side. This can help us to see things a little more clearly.  

Journaling also helps us to get all the junk out. It helps us pour out our feelings onto the page which then inspires us to pray.  

It’s also a great way to keep track of all the things God is doing in our lives. So, we can look back later on and remember all He has done. 

“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” 

-1 Peter 4:19 NLT

8) Take it easy and rest.

Sometimes when we’re dealing with grief it’s a sign that we just need to slow down and rest. Perhaps we’ve been doing too much and it’s leaving us burnt out and depressed.  

When we’re struggling with health issues, we have a lot on our plate.  

There are appointments to schedule and get to. Tests to go through. Medications and supplements we must remember to take. And then there’s dealing with the medical bills and insurance companies, too.    

We have a lot of extra things on our plate when our health isn’t great. On top of not feeling well! 

So, we need to make time for rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

-Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

9) Get creative.

Sometimes just taking some time to do something creative can really help us while dealing with grief.  

We can write a poem, make a craft, or create a painting. These things can help us to find some peace. Because doing things that are life-giving can take our minds off what we’re going through.  

Creating something of beauty reminds us that after even the darkest night, the sun still comes out to shine.  

A sunrise over a dark land with clouds in the sky. And the words, "Even after the darkest night, the sun still comes out to shine."

10) Pet an animal.

Animals are therapeutic. And scientists can prove it.  

They’ve discovered that petting an animal helps to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and it increases levels of oxytocin (the feel-good hormone.) 

Maybe this is why some pets can just seem to sense when we’re feeling down, and they come near to comfort us. 

11) Get outside.

There’s nothing better than getting outside to lift our spirits. The fresh air revitalizes us. The sunshine helps us get some much-needed Vitamin D.  

And there’s just something about creation that helps us connect with our Heavenly Father.  

  • We can see His beauty in the sunrise.  
  • His creativity in the flowers.  
  • His playful nature in the animals that run around.  
  • And His great joy in the laughter of a child.  

These simple little things are like little love notes from God reminding us that He is right here with us.  

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

-Joshua 1:9 NIV
A woman with her head bowed and her hands held up to her chin in prayer. And the words, "God never leaves your side."

12) Move around.

Exercising and moving around releases endorphins in our brains which can boost our mood and make us feel happier.  

Why not try to:

  • Do some floor exercises.  
  • Go for a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood.  
  • Take a few moments to stretch.  
  • Clean a room in your house.  
  • Turn on some praise music and dance – even if you’re just dancing while sitting in a chair.  

Sometimes the best cure for feeling the blues . . . is to simply get up and move.    

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” 

-Psalm 73:26 NLT

13) Find a way to laugh and play!

Laughter is the best medicine.  

So, one of the best things you can do while dealing with grief is to find a way to laugh and play.  

Kids have a way of bringing out the happy in us. And teaching us to find joy even in the little things.  

So, if you can . . . hang out with some kids. Whether that’s your own children, nieces or nephews, or even a friend’s kids.  

But you can also find other ways to play.  

  • Run around outside and play with a pet.  
  • Get together with friends and enjoy a night of camaraderie and games.  
  • Or just hang out with someone who can get you to smile and laugh.  

14) Spend time with others.

One of the easiest ways our enemy can take us down is by encouraging us to isolate ourselves.  

We really are stronger together. 

Sometimes the best thing you can do while dealing with grief is to spend some time with good friends and mentors. People who will encourage you, pray for you, and support you.  

Friends who will make you laugh, challenge you to keep going, and keep pointing you back to Jesus. 

Sometimes the best way to feel better is simply to spend some time together.  

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 

-Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
A woman with her eyes closed and hands folded in prayer. And the words, "Jesus really is everything we need."

15) Choose to be a blessing.

One of the best ways of dealing with grief is to choose to be a blessing. 

While our enemy wants our pain to divide and isolate us. God can use our tears to unite us.  

Because when we take the time to love and serve others, it helps us remember that we’re not alone.    

Everyone goes through suffering.  

By taking the time to be a blessing to others we take our eyes off our circumstances and instead focus on doing what we can to ease another’s suffering.  

Which in turn ends up being a blessing to us because it makes us feel good. It really is better to give than to receive.

A woman sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs looking sad next to a window. And the words, "15 Practical Tips for Dealing with Grief over health issues."

What’s the best way to deal with grief?

The best way to deal with grief is to keep leaning on Jesus.  

  • He will be the strength you need to get through anything. (Phil. 4:13)  
  • He understands what you’re going through. (Hebrews 4:15) 
  • He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). 
  • And He is always with you. (Deut. 31:8) 

No matter what.  

You’re never stuck dealing with grief alone when you have Jesus. Nothing can separate you from His love. (Romans 8:35-39)

He is the only One who can help you grieve, heal, and keep going. He will carry you through the rain. And comfort you even in your deepest pain.  

Jesus really is everything you need.  

Especially when you’re dealing with grief.  

If these tips for dealing with grief gave you hope, then please share them so they can bring hope to others! 

And be sure to check out these other encouraging reads: 

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