If you’re reading this, you are likely experiencing grief. Chances are, you have experience grief before in some way, but each time can be different. Grief can be complicated and confusing, but some things can help. Here are a few tips to get you started on your journey.
Acknowledge that grief is a process, not an event – it will take time to work through your feelings
Grief is something that sneaks up on us when we least expect it. It can be hard to look for the silver lining in such times, but understanding that grief is a process, not an event, can help us find hope in the midst of our pain. Grieving takes time and energy, and there will be moments when it feels like it won’t ever end. But with patience and self-care, our emotions will eventually become more manageable as we work through them. No two people grieve the same way, so give yourself grace during this transition period – no matter how long it may take.
Don’t try to bury up your emotions
Expressing your emotions is an important part of being human and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and out of control sometimes. While it’s often tempting to try and bury negative emotions, allowing yourself the space and freedom to process them properly can be incredibly beneficial. You can do this by screaming into a pillow or journaling about your feelings until you’ve found some relief. Crying clears out any sadness or frustration that has been tied up inside and gives us back our power. Don’t ever be ashamed of how you’re feeling – reach out and find people who are supportive, understanding, and there to provide a safe shoulder to lean on. Learning to manage those emotions better will strengthen your ability to cope in difficult tmes; remember, it’s always okay to let it all out!
Seek out support from friends and family members, or join a support group for people who are grieving
Grieving can be an incredibly difficult journey to go on alone. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and consumed by sadness; however, there are ways to help make the process a little easier. Reach out to friends, family members, or join a support group for people who are also grieving. You can share your experiences in a safe and understanding environment and feel heard there. When someone is present to listen and offer support during this hard time, it can make all the difference. From those kinds of connections, we learn that we’re not alone in our grief; the feelings we experience are completely valid.
Avoid making any major life decisions in the early stages of grief – give yourself time to adjust
Grief is a difficult process to navigate, and it’s important to be kind to yourself. No major life decisions should be made in the early stages of grieving. Everyone handles grief differently, but one universal thing is the need for time – time to adjust to your new reality and come to terms with the changes in your life. Taking that time could save you from making a regretful decision down the line. It might feel like it’s taking forever right now, but make sure you give yourself the time and space necessary to work through this difficult period in your life. Ultimately, you’ll come out on the other side with insight and appreciation for the preciousness of life.
Be patient with yourself – grief can be unpredictable,
and you may have good days and bad days
Everyone has to go through grieving, and while it is a difficult and often frustrating process, it’s also important to be patient with yourself. Grief can be unpredictable; one day you can feel optimistic and content, and the next you may feel incredibly low or exhausted. It’s okay to allow yourself to feel what you are going through and know you are not alone. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to recognize these ebb and flows without judgment and practice self-care on each of our journeys towards healing.
Take care of yourself physically by eating well and getting enough exercise and sleep
Taking proper care of your body is essential for living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Eating nutritiously, getting adequate exercise, and getting enough rest can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining your overall well-being. Not only will proper physical care provide you with obvious physical benefits, like increased strength and vigor, but it may also drive up your mental health as well. Make sure to stick to a regular fitness routine, prioritize nutritious meals that are tailored to meet your individual needs, and give yourself time for sufficient sleep. With enough self-care, you are sure to feel the positive effects from taking better care of yourself physically.
Grief is an emotional roller coaster that can take time to move through, but it is possible to move forward and find a new normal. Being gentle with yourself and your emotions during this challenging journey is essential. Remind yourself that there is no such thing as “get over it” – try to give yourself the same patience and understanding as a friend or a child in the same situation. Lean into your support system, find healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress and anger, let yourself cry when need be, and take good care of yourself physically. Most importantly, remember that each day brings an opportunity for healing – your grief story does not have to define you forever.
About the Author
Roma Williams is a licensed marriage and family therapist and supervisor (LMFT-S) and the founder of Unload It Therapy in Houston, Texas. She has over a decade of experience in the mental health field, with a history of providing counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Roma brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her practice. Her warm and empathetic approach to therapy has transformed the lives of countless clients who have sought her guidance. Roma is now also committed to helping to usher in the next generation of compassionate, responsible therapists through the weekly supervision she provides to the therapists of Unload It Therapy.