Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges in life. In fact, the death of a family member or close friend was the No. 1 reason for grief according to a 2020 WebMD survey.
While grieving is a normal response to this painful event, it doesn’t make it any easier. No matter where you are on the spectrum of grief, there are no rights or wrongs, but there are ways to help you cope so that you can begin the healing process.
Turn to Family Members and Friends
This is a path that shouldn’t be traveled alone. You need the support and care of others which means now is the time to look for it from those who care about you like your family members and friends. You might not be used to having to lean on them, taking pride in being self-sufficient and strong, but you should draw them close and accept any assistance offered. You may have to tell them what you need as people want to help but aren’t sure how, whether it’s just someone to hang out with, an ear to listen to, or a shoulder to cry on.
You might have to look outside your immediate circle to get support, especially if your family and friends are dealing with the loss too. And in other situations it can be necessary to get support from multiple avenues. Talking to a counselor can help with the shock, anger, sadness, anxiety, and other feelings that commonly occur with such a big loss. By searching the term “grief counseling near me,” you’re sure to find a list of options for therapy specifically designed to help people who are trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. It can allow you to move through the various stages of grief in order to heal.
Find Ways to Express Your Grief
Burying your grief deep within won’t help for long. It can’t stay hidden, but you can let it out. One of the best ways to work through it is to scream, cry, and/or express your feelings through art, poetry, journaling, or music. The only way to honor your grief is to work through it, whether in private or with someone you can trust.
Return to Your Routine
Many people find comfort by getting back to their normal routine like enjoying hobbies and interests that bring joy. If you can take part in activities with others, the socializing aspect helps too. Either way, getting back to what you love to do can make it easier to come to terms with the loss while helping the grieving process.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
The more healthy you are physically, the better you’ll be able to cope emotionally as mind and body are connected. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain or lift your mood artificially, relieve fatigue and stress by exercising regularly, consuming a nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep.