Why didn’t I spend more quality time with him/her when I had the chance?” “Why did I say that to him/her? I should’ve never done that.”
There is nothing more emotionally triggering than grieving the loss of a loved one. After the death of a family member or friends, people often experience many negative emotions such as sadness, anger, emptiness, despair, and shock. Sometimes, guilt also arises, making them question why they couldn’t have treated the loved one with more love and respect. Though it may seem like this painful mourning for a loss will never end, there are healthy ways to cope with bereavement. Here are ten tips to help you get through your grief.
1. Give yourself some time. Everyone grieves and copes with bereavement in their own ways. There is no time limit on how soon you should get over the feelings of sadness. Take your time and allow yourself to experience your feelings. It’s okay to not feel like your “normal” self. You’ll feel more like yourself when you start emerging from the grieving process. You are the one that knows your emotions the best. Don’t rush yourself!
2. Turn to faith. If you are a religious or spiritual, your faith may help you establish a sense of peace and comfort during times of grief. Contact your pastor, priest, rabbi, or spiritual leader and allow them to help you get through this difficult time. Religious activities such as praying, praising, worshipping, and meditating can calm you down and offer solace. In times of darkness, hold onto your faith.
3. Join a support group. Find a local bereavement support group and share your sorrow, pain, and depression with others who will more likely understand you. By joining together with others who are in similar situations, you can learn helpful ways that other group members have found to be beneficial in dealing with the process of grief. For more information on finding a grief or bereavement support group, visit VeryWellHealth’s website (click here). They offer a list of various groups and organizations that provide nationwide grief and bereavement support services.
4. Benefit from friends and family. Your friends and family members are the best support team you can have to help you get through the loss of a loved one. You may derive comfort from sharing stories about your loved one or laughing together at some funny memories. Talking with the people who share similar memories can help you deal with your grief in a positive way.
5. Spend time with others. While some people prefer to grieve in isolation, it may be helpful to spend time with other people and engage yourself in different activities to improve your mood. For example, you could invite people to your house and have dinner together, or you could go on a trip with family members or a few close friends to enjoy the beautiful scenery and refresh your mind.
6. Just cry. It’s okay to cry. Crying can help you relieve stress and frustration in many situations. It can also help in times of grief. When you feel like there is nothing you can do while working through the death of a loved one, give yourself time to let out your emotions through tears. You will be surprised to see how much better you feel after a good cry.
7. Explore hobbies you may enjoy. It’s important to get yourself motivated to resume your life. Once you work through some of those tough emotions, it’s crucial to find ways to help you get back on your feet. What would you normally like to do during your free time? Find hobbies and activities you enjoy doing to spend your time productively. Initially, you may not enjoy them as much as you did prior to your loss. But, in time, hopefully, you’ll find them helpful to get you through your grief.
8. Wait on making life important decisions. During times of grief, hold up on making big decisions in life. For example, give yourself time before deciding to sell your house, or quitting your job. Your emotions may lead you to make impulsive and less rational decisions without putting as much thought into them. You don’t want to do things that you’ll regret later. Those decisions can wait.
9. Anticipate “triggers.” As you move on and are better able to accept your loss, anticipate and plan for birthdays, anniversaries or other memorable days you shared with your loved one. Understand the possible impact of these triggers and prepare yourself. Speak to your friends, family, or others to emotionally prepare yourself for these difficult days.
10. See a therapist or counselor. When the pain and sadness are too great, it can be very helpful to seek professional assistance so you can discuss your feelings and the struggles of getting through grief with a counselor. Professional counselors can help you work through your emotions and help you implement coping strategies that you can use to overcome your grief.
There are no right or wrong ways of grieving. Give yourself plenty of time to mourn the loss of a loved one; don’t allow others to tell you how or what you should feel… or how long it should take to grieve. At first, you may not want to do any of the things mentioned in this article and that is completely fine. All you need is some time before you feel that you are ready for some of these tips. Try to remain focused on good and happy memories and, when you are emotionally and physically ready, hopefully, you’ll find some of these tips useful to help you overcome the difficult times.