Survivors of Murder-Suicide Loss Share How You Can Help Support
Check out the terrific new post on Brittany Noble McCarthy's blog,
"Survivors of Murder-Suicide Loss Share How You Can Help Support," at
Brittany Noble McCarthy is a writer and advocate for two largely misunderstood areas: the life of military
families and survivors of murder-suicide loss. In addition to pieces published with the Tragedy Assistance
Program for Survivors (TAPS) and The Kentucky Derby Museum. Brittany is the co-founder of a
murder-suicide loss support group, along with fellow survivor My Grief Connection founder Sara J. Cobb,
and has connected with survivors across the country. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Communication,
and is a certified Peer Mentor with TAPS. Brittany has participated in numerous grief and suicide
workshops with TAPS and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She has also connected
with leading researchers in the field of suicidology and community violence.
This new post was co-written by several murder-suicide loss survivors, including Brittany & Sara,
with the intent of helping educate those in survivors’ support systems. In it, they share what would
have been most helpful – and what was not helpful – after their initial loss. They have joined in a
single voice that they hope reflects anyone who has experienced the tragic loss of a loved one to
murder-suicide or any sensationalized, traumatic loss. They cannot and do not speak for all survivors,
but if you are a survivor of murder-suicide loss, they hope you know you are not alone.
If you are a survivor of murder-suicide loss and are interested in connecting with other survivors for
support and/or direction to resources, please reach out to either Brittany or Sara via email for
information about their Survivors of Murder-Suicide Loss Virtual Support Group. This private support
group meets twice monthly via Zoom to share our stories, encourage and support one another.
Guest Blog by Amy Collett
Meditation as a Coping Strategy: How to Revitalize Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
Photo via Unsplash
Experiencing loss, excess stress, undue financial strain, changing family dynamics, and countless other external forces can be extremely challenging, especially during a pandemic. While starting up a hobby or creating new at-home routines can help ease the negative thoughts and emotions and monotony, an alternative to combating these stressors is meditation. Incorporating meditation into your life can help encourage calm amid pandemic chaos. But the benefits can extend well into the future, too. Dive deeper into meditation (and how to DIY at home) here with My Grief Connection.
Emerging research suggests that meditation is beneficial for both your body and mind. Of course, people who have been meditating for years have already felt the difference that daily practice makes in their lives. Want to know more about why you should choose meditation?
Meditation Shows Promise for People with Grief and Depression
Research on mindfulness and meditation suggests that regular practice may play a part in coping with depression and grief. Results are inconclusive in studies so far, but many researchers are spurred to learn more based on their own positive experiences with meditating and prioritizing mindfulness.
Meditation May Help Ease Physical Pain
Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation-based action can improve “chronic pain symptomology.” Participants in one study reported a better quality of life after finishing an eight-week meditation program. The results lasted at least three years, suggesting that any amount of meditation can make an impact.
Meditation Might Relieve Worrisome Symptoms
Though meditation isn’t a cure-all for every ailment, it can help reduce your blood pressure, banish symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and even alleviate insomnia, studies suggest. These physical benefits may reduce the need for some medications – though you should always consult with your physician before changing your regimen.
How to Start (at Home)
You can start meditating at home in a few simple steps. But first, you’ll need a safe, relaxing, and comfortable area to begin your mindfulness practice. To achieve a calmer space, clean and de-clutter it, and let in some fresh air. You don't need a lot of equipment to get started with meditation -- it is recommended that you have a mat or comfortable cushion to sit on. Whether you're listening to a guided meditation or calming music, a soundbar can enhance your mediation sessions by providing high-quality sound.
Meditation for Beginners
Starting out with meditation can feel intimidating, but it can be as simple and personal as you desire. Expert support is ideal, of course, but you can begin with deep breathing exercises to help melt stress away and spend some rejuvenating me-time in a quiet corner of the house.
Positive Psychology suggests beginner-friendly techniques such as breathing, focus, and mantra meditations. But the beauty of this mind-opening activity is that you can make it your own. Of course, if you’re looking for guidance to get to expert-level and really change your life and perceptions, consider seeking professional support.
Where to Turn for Support
Navigating meditation on your own can seem intimidating. Plus, common barriers to truly becoming mindful and entering a meditative state can stop you from making progress. The solution is to collaborate with an expert in meditation and mindful breathing techniques.
You can get one-on-one support, either in person or remotely, to change your approach to meditation. Over time, you’ll find that regular meditation cracks your horizons wide open and exposes you to growth you never thought you could achieve on your own.
Whether you go it solo or enlist the help of a coach or partner, dedicate some of your time to meditation. It can provide you with healing and better coping techniques, whether you're dealing with loss, financial hardships, or pandemic-related stress.
If you're experiencing loss of any kind, or would like to support an individual who's dealing with grief, visit My Grief Connection for helpful resources such as support groups and grief services.
Amy Collett is creator of Biz Well, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.
How to Handle COVID-Related
Sara J. Cobb
Founder, My Grief Connection
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If you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, please contact 911 or the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
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My Grief Connection - Created 04 July 2019
Updated 20 November 2021
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