One of life’s most difficult experiences is going through the process of grief. It would be somewhat easier if grief followed a linear path, with stages that fit neatly into boxes that you can check off. However, big feelings can emerge throughout the grieving process. While these emotions can be consuming, they are not permanent states. Although there is no quick fix for grief, there are things you can do to help you move through the process.
What Is Grief?
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when someone or something you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to loss, and the more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be.
Even slight losses in life can trigger a sense of grief. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved one, but any loss can cause grief, including:
- Divorce or relationship breakup
- Loss of health
- Losing a job
- Loss of financial stability
- Death of a pet
- A loved one’s serious illness
- Loss of a friendship
- Selling the family home
Whatever your loss, it’s personal to you, so don’t feel ashamed about how you feel or believe it’s only appropriate to grieve for certain things.
- Seek Support From Friends and Family
The pain of grief can cause you to want to withdraw from others. However, having the face-to-face support of other people is crucial to healing from loss. Even if you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings, it’s essential to express them when you’re grieving. While sharing your loss can make the burden of grief easier to carry, that doesn’t mean that every time you interact with friends and family, you need to talk about your loss. Comfort can also come from just being around others who care about you. The key is not to isolate yourself.
Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Instead of avoiding them, draw friends and loved ones close, spend time together, and accept the help that’s offered. Sometimes, people may want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need–whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, help with funeral arrangements, or just someone to hang out with.
- Join a Support Group
Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. They may even have other tips to help you get through this process. Search online for local grief support groups to help you find a group near you.
- Talk to a Therapist or Grief Counselor
If your grief feels like too much to bear, find a mental health professional with grief counseling experience. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles in your grieving process.
- Take Care of Yourself
When you’re grieving, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The stress of a significant loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this challenging time.
Write about your loss in a journal. If you’ve lost a loved one, write a letter to them saying the things you never got to say. You can even make a scrapbook or photo album celebrating the person’s life or get involved in a cause or organization that was important to your loved one.
Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. There’s comfort in routine and getting back to the activities that bring you joy and connect you closer to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process.
- Face Your Feelings
You can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. To heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to depression, anxiety, substance use, and health problems.
Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel and don’t tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own and no one else can tell you when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It’s okay to be angry, to yell, to cry, or to not cry. It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.
Dealing with grief can be one of the most challenging things you go through in life. You may experience difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. Although there is no quick fix for grief, there are things you can do to help you move through the process. During this time, it is crucial to seek support–whether that be from friends and family, a support group, or a grief counselor or therapist. It is also imperative to take care of yourself and face your feelings. If you find yourself struggling with grief, Hired Power can help. Hired Power is a dynamic group of recovery professionals that provide an empowering range of services in a compassionate and healing environment that gives people the best opportunity for long-term success and happiness. We can offer you transportation to and from therapy appointments or support groups. We also have Personal Recovery Assistants who can help you through this time. Our Personal Recovery Assistants encourage and motivate clients to become active participants in their own lives. To learn more about our services, call Hired Power today at (800) 910-9299.