Dealing with the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult for everyone. What is important to remember is that each person handles grief in his or her own unique way. Unfortunately, while dealing with grief, the rest of the world does not stop and neither do your responsibilities.
Here are some tips on how to manage your grief during this time:
Take time for yourself. If you need to be alone, then take the time to be alone. Don’t worry about others; you are not being selfish. Take time to grieve. Take time to make decisions. There is no set timeline for grief and coping with a loss, it is unique to each individual so do not let others dictate when it is time to move on.
One-on-one therapy with a grief counselor provides the opportunity to discuss everything you are feeling without fear of judgment. A grief counselor can help you understand the grieving process and provide ideas on how to cope with your loss.
While in the midst of grief, you often feel isolated and alone. Attending group counselling or a bereavement group reminds you that you are not alone, that others are also suffering and understand what you are experiencing. Meeting with individuals sharing the common experience of losing a loved one allows you to bond together and freely and safely express yourself. Remembering you are not alone provides comfort and the realization that, given time, you will begin the healing process.
While your loss is still recent, you may not feel like socializing and just want to be alone. That is definitely okay. However, you will eventually find that being with friends feels good. They are a support system who is able to provide comfort and a sense of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic life.
Remember that your children have a different perspective regarding your loss. They have lost a parent, not a spouse, and often become concerned, as they do not want to lose a second parent. Therefore, children are usually not the best people with whom to discuss your grief. In fact, sharing your grief with your children can complicate their grief process as well as yours.
Exercise boosts endorphins, which in turn boosts self-esteem and mental clarity. Regular workouts help improve your outlook on life and help you feel better about yourself.
It is essential to find the time to reflect on all the changes that have occurred in life. Taking the time to sit in silence and meditate helps encourage healing in the grieving process.
Keep a journal as a way to express your feelings. Looking back through your journal can help you realize that you are indeed making progress through the grief process.
Treat Yourself Well
Treat yourself as you would treat someone else in your situation. Give yourself the time to do those activities you enjoy whether it means going for a walk, reading a book, going to the movies or the mall, or even buying yourself a treat.
Seek Medical Help
If your grief is overwhelming you to the point where you become completely withdrawn from society and feel incapable of coping any longer, then please talk to a medical professional, whether it is your family practitioner, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist.
At many points in time all will feel hopeless, that life will never feel good again. Remember to just hang in there, no matter how dark your world currently feels, it will get better.