Death, like taxes, is certain. And when it snatches a beloved, the pain can be crushing. But can you overcome the loss of a loved one? Try these tips.
After going through a major loss, many people experience serious effects on their physical and/or mental health. Losing someone close to you may increase your risk of conditions like myocardial infarctions and mental health disorders like depression.
Have you recently gone through a loss? Are you having a hard time coping?
It is possible to overcome the loss of a loved one. However, it takes a lot of consistent work on your part to get through this difficult time.
If you’re not sure where to begin, keep reading. Listed below are some tips to help you through the grieving process.
Stages of Grief
In general, the grieving process can be broken down into five different stages. These stages are as follows:
- Denial:Refusing to believe that a loss happened to you
- Anger: Wondering why the loss happened and looking for someone to blame
- Bargaining: Trying to do something in an effort to reverse the loss
- Depression: Feeling too upset and sad to do anything at all
- Acceptance: Feeling at peace with what happened and being able to move forward
Ideally, you’ll get to a place of acceptance after going through a significant loss. That’s often easier said than done, though. To reach a point of acceptance, you need to find a healthy way to grieve.
Healthy Ways to Grieve
Grief looks different on everyone. Some people go into a state of shock and feel numb to the world. Others are openly upset and may cry or get angry easily.
There’s no one right or wrong way to feel grief. There are better and worse ways to cope with your loss, though.
The following are some healthy ways to process your grief that you may want to try after losing a loved one
Reach Out to Friends and Family
One of the best things you can do after losing someone you love is to reach out to others in your family or circle of friends. They may be feeling the same way you are, especially if they were also close to the person who passed away.
There’s no reason to go through the grieving process alone. Contact those who have also lost someone they love and work through your feelings together.
Join a Support Group
If you don’t have close friends or family members who understand what you’re going through or can lend a supportive ear, consider joining a support group instead.
There are lots of groups out there designed for those who are struggling with loss. Do some searching online to find a group near you and attend a meeting to get to know others who can empathize with your experience.
Work with a Therapist
There’s nothing wrong with seeing a mental health professional when you’re going through a difficult time like this. In fact, it shows a lot of strength and courage to acknowledge that you need help and seek it.
Look for a therapist who specializes in grief counseling and management and contact them to schedule an appointment.
Take Care of Yourself
Make sure you’re continuing to take care of yourself during this difficult time.
It’s easy to let personal care fall by the wayside when you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one. You’ll likely find that you feel a lot better, though, if you make an effort to practice self-care and make sure your needs are met.
Maintain your hobbies and interests, continue to bathe and get dressed each day, and try to exercise on a regular basis.
Celebrate Your Loved One
Don’t forget to celebrate the life your loved one had, too. If you haven’t held a memorial service for them yet, plan one.
Taking the time to handle the practical matters, such as purchasing wooden urns and arranging for people to come and pay their respects, can help to give you closure and give you a positive and productive way to process your feelings.
Behaviors to Avoid While Grieving
The behaviors listed above are all healthy practices you can engage in while grieving the loss of a loved one.
There are plenty of healthy things you can do after a loved one passes on, but there are also some unhealthy behaviors you ought to avoid, including the following:
As tempting as it might be to isolate yourself from friends and family, do your best not to during this time.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever be alone. However, if you find that you’re always by yourself and are intentionally turning away from people who are trying to help and support you, you might end up feeling worse and turning to other harmful behaviors.
Substance abuse is common among people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. That doesn’t make it normal or healthy, though.
Resist the urge to drown your sorrows in alcohol or other drugs. These substances might help in the short term, but they’re not a healthy long-term solution.
Talk to a therapist or reach out to a loved one if you’re having a hard time with this.
Now, while you’re grieving, is not the time to try and settle a score with anyone who might have been involved in your loved one’s passing.
Later on, you may find that talking to them gives you closure.
Avoid confronting or lashing out at them while you’re still angry or depressed, though. You may say things you regret or end up feeling worse than you did before.
Start Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One Today
The process of grieving and overcoming the loss of a loved one isn’t easy. It will take time for you to heal and feel ready to move on with your life.
If you continue to work at it, though, things will get easier for you. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you go through the grieving process and don’t hesitate to reach out to other loved ones and ask for help and support.
Do you need more advice on handling a loss or another difficult situation? Don’t try to go at it alone. Join our community to connect with others who may be experiencing something similar.