We have all suffered overwhelming losses with the arrival of COVID-19. Loss of life as we know it, loss of freedom, loss of closeness with family, and even loss of income. Every conversation we have and every post we see on social media shows how this uncertain time is deeply affecting all facets of our lives.
All of these losses need to be grieved properly, so that we can find healthy coping mechanisms to move forward. Here are 10 tips to help with grief and loss.
Losing someone or something important to you can be incredibly difficult. It destabilises your perception of reality, creates a void and triggers pain that is often extremely challenging to manage. As such, many studies have been carried out to investigate how people cope with these difficult times and develop an inner reservoir of resilience.
While grieving may be difficult, many people find that they ultimately grow as human beings and discover meaningful ways to integrate loss into their lives.
1.Accept your feelings
There are no wrong or right emotions. You might not like certain feelings that arise, but research shows that simply allowing them to exist – acknowledging and not suppressing them – goes a long way to processing grief. Trust that you will survive the feelings and that they will come and go again.
2.Be gentle with yourself
Try not to judge yourself – there is no time limit on being sad. The intensity may vary over time, but it is normal to continue to have feelings about your loss.
Mourning may well be a lonely time in one’s life – no one else can do it for you, and no two people’s experiences will be the same. That said, avoid isolating yourself. Reach out and seek connection from people who make you feel safe.
5.Learn about grief
Education is important, as we sometimes try to rush ourselves through negative emotional spaces because we think they aren’t normal. Understanding the different symptoms of grief, as well as the various stages you might be able to expect, can assist in normalising what you’re going through.
6.Create rituals to facilitate grieving
Some cultures and religions have rituals to assist mourners with acknowledging the loss in their lives and with providing space to mourn. Rituals need not be religious, but can incorporate activities like journaling, visiting a graveside or attending a bereavement support group.
7.Express your feelings
Find ways to not just allow your feelings, but also to express them – this can be through rituals, sharing with a friend or therapist, journaling, music or art.
Exercising and worrying about healthy food may not feel very important at this point; however, caring for yourself is never more important than when you are having a difficult time. Grief is not only an emotional experience, but also a very physical one – one that, if you pay attention, is having a marked impact on the body. While self-care incorporates many of the above elements, your physical self needs care, too.
9.Don’t numb out your feelings
Using alcohol and drugs to anaesthetise the emotional pain only prolongs the grieving process – and can sometimes add other havoc to the mix. People may also try to numb out the hurt through being overly busy, suppressing their emotions and avoiding anything that will trigger grief.
10.Ask for help
If it feels too hard to manage the pain of your grief, call for external support. Whether it’s a compassionate friend or a professional therapist or counsellor, there are many people with experience in assisting others to navigate this difficult time.
Issued on behalf of BrightRock by:
Media Relations Specialist