Managing grief after a loved one has died can be difficult, but there are plenty of healthy coping mechanisms you can use to help navigate you through your grieving process.

Over a series of blogs titled ‘How to cope with Grief’, we will be exploring a range of helpful ways you can process your own experience of grief and keep your loved one’s memory alive.

In this blog, we will explore the benefits of walking and nature for mental health and the grieving process.

What are the benefits of walking for grief?

Improved mental and physical health

Walking is not only a great way to keep physically fit and healthy, but also mentally fit and healthy, which is extremely important for someone coping with grief. According to research by the mental health charity MIND, walking reduces the risk of becoming depressed by 30% - emphasising the power of exercise on the overall health of your mind and body.

With this in mind, it’s important to take things slowly after someone dies. You may have days where you feel like walking for miles and others where you’d rather stay inside. So always be gentle with yourself and take things at a pace that feels right for you.

Easing loneliness

It can be easy to feel lonely after a loved one dies, especially if you lived with them or spent a lot of time with them. Walking with others can help you connect with the people around you, forming a strong support network of people you can talk to about your feelings and even memories of your loved one with.

Improved sleep quality

Grief can cause feelings of stress and upset, which can affect your sleep quality. Sleep is important for maintaining a clear and healthy mind which is essential when coping with the complexities of grief. Taking a walk is a good way to promote healthy sleeping patterns and reduce feelings of stress.

Reconnecting with your loved one

Walking in a meaningful location that is special your loved one such as where their ashes were scattered, or somewhere they enjoyed visiting when they were alive, is a great was to connect with them and cope with the grief of losing them.

What are the benefits of nature for grief? 

Improved mental and physical health

Humans have a natural and inherent need to connect with nature in order to maintain a healthy and balanced mind and body. According to a  study from the mental health foundation, 70% of UK adults stated that being close to nature improved their mood. When coping with grief, keeping a healthy mind can seem difficult but is essential in preventing you from feeling overwhelmed. Spending time in nature (even if it is just in your garden) and breathing in fresh air can help you relax and disconnect from the world for a while, reducing stress significantly. 

Calming effect

Getting out in nature helps to increase your physical exercise, social contact, and exposure to natural light, all of which makes a big difference to your mood. Try engaging your senses with your natural surroundings, listen to the birds, smell the flowers, or watch the clouds. This will allow you to be present in the moment and put your grief to the side to focus your mind elsewhere.

Giving you purpose

Growing flowers or vegetables, taking part in a foraging course, or even joining a nature swimming or walking group are all great ways to feel closer to nature after someone dies. Having something to nurture, grow, or attend to can give you a real sense of purpose which can ease feelings of loneliness and sadness caused by bereavement.

Need further advice on coping with grief or want to know more about direct cremations?


We hope this article has helped you with ways to cope with your grief, but if you need any further advice on this topic, or are looking to arrange a direct cremation, get in touch with our expert team today.

Our simple, fully inclusive pre-paid funeral plan starts at £1,450 and is guaranteed at today’s price. We also offer flexible payment terms up to 5 years, so you can protect your family financially with a more affordable way to pay. We’re available 24/7, whenever you need us and more than happy to help.

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