Grief is an unavoidable and natural part of life. Whether it’s the loss of a family member, friend, or much-loved pet, we will all experience loss, and the grief it brings, at some point in our lives. This is completely natural, but it can be challenging and distressing when you are going through it, and sometimes it feels like you will never be the same again.
The good news is, although grief is not avoidable, there are a number of strategies you can use to get through it in a healthier way, so let’s take a look at some of them right now.
Acknowledge your grief
The first step in dealing with grief is acknowledging it. This may sound simple, but many people try to suppress what they are feeling and pretend that everything is fine. It’s important to recognize that grief is a natural response to loss and that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or even confused. Giving yourself permission to grieve can be an essential step in the healing process.
Express your feelings
Once you’ve acknowledged your grief, it’s important to express your feelings. Bottling up emotions can lead to an increase in stress and other negative impacts on your mental health. There are many ways to express grief and you should choose the one that feels most comfortable for you. Some common ways include:
- Talking to friends or family members: Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can be incredibly therapeutic.
- Writing a journal: This allows you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to have a safe space to express yourself without judgment.
- Creating art or music: Creative outlets can be a powerful way to process and express your grief.
Grieving can be an isolating experience, so it’s essential to seek support from those around you. This can come in many forms from asking your friends to help you choose the right wood urns by Memorials.com for your loved one’s last resting place to speaking to a therapist who can help you deal with your feelings of grief and loss in a more healthy way while also supporting you through your grief.
However, Support groups can be particularly beneficial, as they offer a safe space to share your feelings and experiences with others who are going through a similar situation. Many communities have grief support groups and there are also online communities available if you would prefer to meet with people that way.
Take care of your physical health
Grief is not just a mental thing; it can also take a toll on your physical health too. For that reason, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care during this time by eating well, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. These activities not only support your overall well-being but can also improve your mental health and provide a sense of routine and stability during a challenging time.
Set realistic expectations
The grieving process is something that takes time, so it is important that you do not set yourself unrealistic expectations around how soon you will start to feel better or how quickly you will be able to move on. That does not, of course, mean that you should not set any goals for yourself, but those goals should be long-term and achievable. Some days you will feel great, others you will be lost in grief all over again. The grieving process does not happen overnight, so be sure to cut yourself some slack.
Establish a new routine
When we experience a loss, it can cause our regular routines to become disrupted. Establishing a new routine can provide a sense of stability and normalcy during this challenging time because, when we do not have any specific structure to our days, it is too easy to wallow and get lost in rumination. When setting up your new routine, try to incorporate activities that bring you joy and help you feel connected to your loved one, such as visiting their favorite places or engaging in activities they enjoyed.
Practice mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation can help you to spend more time living in the present moment, which is so important during the grieving process where you might be tempted to spend too much time dwelling in the past or wondering what the future will look like when you do not have your loved one around with you any longer. These simple practices can help you manage your emotions and cope with the intense feelings of loss. Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, can help you stay grounded in the present moment and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by your grief.
Give yourself permission to experience joy
A lot of people who are grieving think that they should be sad; that it would not be right to laugh or have fun in any way, but this is an unhealthy way to look at things. Your loved one would want you to be happy, so you need to give yourself permission to pursue happiness and experience feelings of joy in your life now, more than ever. Ruminating on the bad stuff and getting stuck in a sadness rut because you would feel guilty otherwise is only going to prolong your pain and make it harder for you to come out the other side, so do not feel bad for wanting to feel something other than sadness right now.
Grieving is a natural and healthy response to loss, but it can be a challenging and isolating experience. By acknowledging your grief, and taking better care of yourself, you can navigate, what is sure to be a difficult time for you, in as healthy a way as possible and come out the other side in a much better place. Just remember, there is no right and wrong way to grieve, so if it takes you a bit longer or if your way of grieving looks a bit different to everyone else’s, that is completely fine. Follow your healing journey your way.