Helpful Tips For Managing Grief and Loss
Grief is the process of sadness felt after experiencing loss. It is a deep, complex, and at times overwhelming response to losing a loved one through death, leaving a job, an unexpected breakup, etc. The initial grief process is experienced as acute emotional pain. While it can be challenging to navigate through at first, there are methods of coping with emotional pain and loss. Applying these grieving tactics and knowledge will help you combat the struggles of loss in your life and perhaps the lives of your loved ones.
- Allow yourself to feel through your emotions.
Grief is a normal process of dealing with loss, but you need to allow yourself to let it out to heal emotionally. Make sure to recognize the urge to grieve, such as crying, which will enable grief to run its course entirely. Not only does this help you be in touch with your emotions better, but it also strengthens your mental health in the long run.
- Write a letter to a loved one you've lost.
If you've recently experienced the loss of a loved one, you can express your thoughts and feelings through a letter, much like you would through journal writing. Grieving in this manner can be cathartic and beneficial for a more straightforward coping process.
- Write about your grief, and focus on the positive memories.
Similar to letter writing, this can apply to all types of loss. For example, even if you lose a home or move away, journaling about the positive experiences and memories will help you remember the good times. If you experienced the death of a loved one or a divorce, journal about what you loved about them and the joy they brought into your life.
- Vent your feelings to someone you trust.
Even though casual conversations with others seem easy, opening up about a significant loss in your life can be highly challenging. During grief, it's common to feel emotionally vulnerable or wounded, and shutting everyone out may be a defensive reaction. To avoid depression, resist this urge and find a trusted confidant to confide in.
- Understand that grief is unique to each individual.
No aspect of grief is specific to certain individuals. People of all ages, from children to teens to adults, grieve loss uniquely. No textbook duration is required to heal from a loss, and no two people experience the stages of grief at the same course or degree.
- Prepare for triggers to your grief in the future.
Various events, even years after the loss, can trigger emotional wounds, such as birthdays and holidays. Recognize these triggers and understand precisely what thoughts/emotions you are experiencing from them. Once you understand your triggers, you will know which ones are best to avoid altogether. For example, you can always find alternatives if they enjoyed certain hobbies or went to specific places. You should also prepare for unexpected triggers, such as walking by someone wearing the same perfume/cologne they used to wear.