Loss comes in many forms, whether someone close to you has passed away, you’ve lost a home, or a cherished relationship has ended. Each loss can be challenging in its own way and may cause feelings of grief, sadness, anger, or fear. Although each form of grief can be unique, there are ways to reach out for support or cope with loss healthily.
Suggestions For Coping With Loss
No matter the type of loss you’ve experienced, you’re not alone. However, you may feel a mixture of emotions unique to your situation, and it can be challenging to understand how to cope or connect to others if you aren’t feeling well. Below are nine suggestions for healthily addressing your loss while caring for your well-being and giving yourself the space to grieve.
Don’t Pressure Yourself
You may experience intense and confusing emotions in the days after a loss, and it can be normal to feel lost or unsure. It may be helpful to note that people process grief and loss differently, and what helps another may not be useful for you.
Open Up When You’re Ready
Suppressing emotions may adversely impact your mental and physical health. After taking time to rest and recuperate, consider taking steps to start socializing again. You may find that being honest about your feelings with someone you trust helps you feel connected to the outside world again.
Some people try to avoid grief instead of processing it. They may find diversions to avoid their feelings, such as work, new relationships, or substance use. However, when avoidance starts adversely impacting your health, it may not be beneficial anymore. It can be helpful to note that diversions from your loss cannot change what happened or remove the feelings you felt when it occurred.
Allow Yourself To Feel Angry
Anger is one of the stages of grief that people often experience with loss. Recognizing that anger and allowing yourself to process it may help you understand the loss. However, note that the five stages of grief model might not resonate with every person and is a psychological theory, not a scientific fact.
Focus On The Positive
At times, associating positive memories with the loss may reframe the situation and remind you that grief and pain result from love and connection. If remembering someone or a situation makes you feel worse, recognize that these emotions are occurring. Reflect on the experience and continue attempting to let positive thoughts in until they start to remind you of the times you loved and shared.
Know Your Strength
You might notice moments when you don’t think you can cope with the profound feelings that accompany loss. You may be vulnerable to giving up if you feel like you’ve been making progress but start to experience emotional pain again.
However, know that grief isn’t a linear process for everyone, and there are no rules for getting it right. When grief arises, try to be patient and remember that you are strong and have gotten through painful emotions before.
Try To Find Meaning
In some cases, people feel that holding on to meaning in what occurred can be beneficial. For example, you might have learned a lesson you carry with you in helping others. If you lost a difficult relationship, you might learn new interpersonal skills you can use to avoid unhealthy connections in the future.
Join A Support Group
Joining a support group could be a way to come to terms with your grief while gaining new allies. As social support is essential for human well-being, talking to others can get you out of the house and allow you to start connecting. Once you’ve started to talk through your experience with the group, you might start to help new group participants who are experiencing symptoms you once experienced.
Commit To Your Health And Well-Being
Because of its connection with depression, some people can feel frozen in their grief, struggling to find the will or motivation to take steps toward healing. The complexity of emotions associated with a significant loss can make understanding how to move out of the grief cycle difficult.
Taking steps to care for yourself, even if minor, may offer a sense of well-being one day at a time. You can also ask those you love to help you with your self-care. If you struggle to cook, you might be able to receive meals or snacks from friends and family. Crowdfunding may be an option if you can’t afford to pay your bills. If you are not motivated to care for your living space, recruit help or pay someone to clean temporarily to give you a break.
If your symptoms persist and are severe, you might also benefit from contacting a doctor or mental health professional. Talking to someone with experience in treating the unique symptoms of grief can help you feel seen, heard, and ready to move forward. In addition, it can benefit your mental and physical health.
It can be challenging to see a path forward when you’re feeling profound grief due to loss. In these cases, therapy might offer you the skills, empathy, and guidance to process these feelings healthily. If you feel hesitant to speak to a therapist due to problems with accessibility, time constraints, affordability, and the discomfort of talking about something so painful, you can try online therapy as an alternative option.
Online therapy offers a convenient, comfortable platform for healing. With an online platform like BetterHelp, you can be matched with an experienced professional therapist to whom you can speak anytime, including between sessions, if you think you would benefit from support. You can attend sessions at home or anywhere with an internet connection via phone, online chat, text, and video chat.
Online therapy is often more affordable than in-person without insurance, and it’s as effective for treating mental health challenges like grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, and other conditions. If you’ve experienced a profound loss, talking to an internet-based counselor can offer you support from home.
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