3 Tips for Overcoming Grief
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, grief is a standard part of life. It’s even essential because it shows that you experienced something worthy of grieving over, but it’s never easy.
Sometimes, managing your feelings after a loss can be so tricky that without help, it will cause serious consequences that impact the rest of your life.
Coping with the emotional fallout of a loss is a unique, personal journey. However, if you find yourself grieving for so long that it’s affecting your other relationships, your health, or your job, you might want to reach out for professional help to experts like those at Studio City Recovery.
As you try to handle your feelings and adjust to this new loss, it’s essential to remember that there is no timeline for healing. However, with these three tips, you may be better able to grieve in healthy ways that will help you acknowledge the importance of the loss while still moving on with your newly shifted life.
1. Give Your Feelings Validation
If you grew up in an environment where emotions were swept under the carpet, you’re probably trying to hide your feelings. Many people are uncomfortable with seeing others’ grief, and the societal trend says, “Don’t bother other people with your pain.” This is not healthy, and your feelings deserve validation.
When you try to push through the pain and avoid feeling your emotions, they will manifest later anyway. You’ve seen this happen when you’ve had a rough day at work but weren’t able to yell at the people who annoyed you, so you took it out on your spouse or children instead.
Bottling up your emotions has physical consequences, too. In addition to harming your relationships, the extra stress from not releasing your feelings can lead to health problems such as:
- Increased signs of aging
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Lowered immune system
- General discomfort and fatigue
- Stomach problems
- Erectile dysfunction
One way or another, your body is going to express its grief. It may take days, months, or even years, but the pain will show up, and you’ll need to work through it. Acknowledge those feelings now so that you can heal them and move toward recovery.
2. Focus on Your Needs
When you’re responsible for others, this tip can be challenging. You may want to put on a solid front to avoid worrying your family, especially if you have children. But they need to see what grief looks like, too, and learn how to work through it. This is particularly vital if the loss affected them. They’re grieving and unsure how to express their feelings. They will look to you as a role model, and you don’t want to teach them to ignore the pain.
One way to take care of yourself is to make time for the basics of self-care, such as showering, sleeping, and eating healthy meals. The proper diet is crucial right now while you’re healing, and you need vitamins for your brain and body to function correctly.
Keep in touch with your friends and loved ones, and make time to do things with them, even if you don’t feel like it. Find ways to stay active, whether it’s exercising, walking in nature, or window shopping through the mall. Push yourself to get to that destination, and once you’re there, it will be easier to complete the activity.
Show your family and friends that getting therapy is okay, too. Find a mental health counselor that you feel comfortable with. They will teach you strategies to recover from grief, and you might be able to share those strategies with others.
3. Be Patient With Your Recovery
Although experts talk about the five stages of grief, there is no right way to handle loss. You may feel perfectly calm and accepting one minute, and then something will trigger a memory or a feeling, and you’ll spiral out of control the next.
These emotions are to be expected. Grief is unpredictable, and if you’re hard on yourself, you’ll add the feeling of self-disappointment to the list of emotions you’re struggling to process.
Healthy recovery from a loss is never found in a “get over it” instant miracle cure. In fact, if the person or event you’re struggling to grieve was important to you, you honor that impact through your recovery process.
Have patience with yourself and your randomly manifesting feelings. Try to live out your day as normally as possible, and when those emotions creep up on you from seemingly out of nowhere, give them validation, process them, and then keep going. You won’t stay in those grieving feelings forever.
Overcoming grief is a journey that you must go through on your own, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone through it all. With help, patience, and strategies, you can recover in healthy ways that will honor your feelings for your loss while teaching you how to move on to your new reality.