Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or something you once had, grief is a very normal response to experiencing loss. Here are a few healthy tips to help you deal with your own, or a family member/friend’s grief.
There is no correct answer to the question: “How to deal with grief?” However, we can help you find your answer. Grief is a form of emotional suffering that occurs when something is taken away from you. It’s a normal response that (though painful) is experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. There are several reasons someone may experience grief in their life, including:
- Loss of a loved one or pet
- End of a relationship
- Losing a job
- Loss of something with personal or monetary value
- End of a dream or passion
- A huge lifestyle change
- And many more reasons…
Everyone is likely familiar with the 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance. But these stages are not actually a rigid framework; many people experience grief differently to how its set out in the 5 stages. In the wake of a loss, if you’re feeling sadness, fatigue, nausea, or are experiencing insomnia or weight gain/loss, you may very well be suffering from grief. Keep reading for some fantastic tips to help you deal with it!
How to Deal with Grief
Remember that it won’t hurt forever
Staying in a positive mindset is important for helping you to overcome difficult situations. It’s easy to slip into feeling that this pain and suffering will last forever, but in reality, it almost never does. This pain is temporary and with a little healing and acceptance, you’ll be back to your old self in no time. It’s never forever; stay positive!
Face and accept your feelings
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to accept your grief, rather than avoid or suppress it. Avoiding those sad and lonely feelings that come along with loss only prolongs your grieving period, and can lead to further mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. The fact you’ve landed on this page means that you’re already well on your way to facing your feelings – so well done!
Maintain your physical health
Your physical and mental health are strongly connected and each is key for bolstering the other. Exercise, a healthy diet and good sleep are perfect counters to the stress and fatigue that comes with grief. It’s also important that you continue the hobbies and interests in your routine that make you happy. Rather than waiting until you feel better, we implore you to get out there and give it a go anyway!
Turn to friends or family
It’s during times of grief when you should draw in those who care about you, not shut yourself off from them. Even if you like to be strong and self-sufficient, there is no shame in needing face-to-face time with loved ones and assistance in your lowest moment. The biggest barrier is often that your friends or family don’t know what to say or do, so make it easy and tell them! You know what you need, so take the burden off your loved ones and let them know exactly what you need from them to help you through this difficult time.
Join a support group
You may not feel comfortable sharing your sorrows with friends or family, in which case a support group might help you to share with others who have experienced similar losses – people who can understand. If you’re reading from Queensland, Self Help QLD has a great resource for finding support groups relevant to you. Just Google support groups in your area to find like minded people who are ready to listen.
Seek professional help
One of the best ways to deal with intense grief is through therapy or counselling. Not everyone has access to support systems to help with grieving, and sometimes the feelings are so intense that they become overwhelming – causing long term depression or anxiety. In these situations, you can always turn to a professional for counselling and psychological therapy. We help Australian adults, children and families deal with grief every day, from our clinic and online. Book a consultation with one of our psychologists if you believe this is the right healing pathway for you. If the wait for a psychologist is too much for you, and you are experiencing severe depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Now do you know how to deal with grief?
Contact us or comment below if you have any questions, and we’ll do our very best to help you begin your healing journey.