9 Suggestions For Coping With Loss
Loss comes in many forms, whether someone close to you has passed away, you’ve lost a home, or a cherished relationship is ending- it’s all difficult in unique ways. Each story is different, and though we may grieve in our own ways, there are things we can do to cope with loss and begin healing. Take a look at the following tips that show how to cope with the death of a friend or a loved one.
1. Don’t feel obligated to do anything at first.
You’ll likely experience a variety of emotions in the days ahead, and it’s normal to feel lost or unsure of what to do, but keep in mind that people process grief and loss in different ways, and what helps another may not be useful for you.
Well-meaning loved ones will likely rush in to help, but you may not be ready to accept it yet. In the beginning, it might help to give yourself some room and decide what will be the most healing path for you. If that means doing nothing for a little while, you may want to allow that.
2. Talk about it.
When we bottle our emotions, it can eventually impact our mental and physical health in a negative way. Even if you don’t want to talk about it now, you may find that being honest about your feelings with someone you trust can help you begin the journey to healing.
3. Allow yourself to grieve.
Some people try to avoid grief instead of processing it. They may find diversions to avoid their feelings in things like work, other relationships, or even substance use. But when prolonged, this sort of avoidance isn’t healthy. Remember that diversions can’t erase what’s been done, and they probably can’t erase your feelings either.
4. 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 is an important part of coming to terms with and moving beyond loss.
5. Remember the positive.
Sometimes, associating positive memories with the object of our loss can help reframe the situation and remind you that grief and pain aren’t the only things that exist. If remembering makes you feel worse, recognize that, and allow those feelings to persist until, eventually, you’re able to reflect on the happy memories as part of your healing process.
6. Recognize that you’re probably stronger than you think.
There may be times when you don’t think you can cope with the profound feelings that accompany loss. You may be especially vulnerable to giving up if you feel like you’ve been making progress, but something happens that seems to put you back to square one.
Remember that grief isn’t a linear process, and there are no rules for “doing it right.” When those times arise, try to be patient and keep up hope. They will pass, and they may be an opportunity for growth.
7. Look For The Meaning
Even the most seemingly senseless tragedies can yield something positive- or at least useful. It may be difficult to recognize, especially early on, but with some thought and reflection, you may begin to find meaning in the situation.
8. Join A Support Group
Some people may have a tougher journey than others when dealing with grief. Joining a support group could be a good way to come to terms with your grief while gaining new allies. Spending time in a support group can help you gain strength and put yourself on a path of hope. Once you’re grounded on that path, you may find it therapeutic to help others in the group in the same way that you were helped.
9. Commit to your health.
Because of its tendency to create depression, people can sometimes become frozen in grief, unable to find the will or the motivation to take action to heal. The complexity of emotions associated with major loss can make it difficult to move forward as well.
But now, more than ever, is the time for some self-care. Taking steps to care for yourself, no matter how small, can help. For example, if you can’t sleep, try deep relaxation techniques. If you don’t feel like eating, try to snack on healthy food that’s easy to prepare throughout the day. If you don’t have the motivation to care for your living space, recruit help, or if possible, pay someone to clean temporarily until you feel well enough to resume those types of daily activities.
Some of these things, such as sleep or nutrition issues, may require outside help from a doctor to work on. Regardless of the circumstances, caring for your mental health should be a high priority. That includes speaking with a therapist who specializes in helping people process and cope with grief.
It can be hard to see a path forward when you’re feeling profound grief due to loss. However, with help, it is possible to find strength and hope. Even though therapy is one of the most critical things you can do to care for yourself, some people feel reluctant to speak with a therapist. The reasons for this are varied and depend on the individual, but they often involve problems with accessibility, time constraints, affordability, and the discomfort of talking about something so painful.
Many of these borders to treatment can be overcome with online therapy. Online therapy offers people seeking help for coping with grief a convenient, comfortable platform for healing. With BetterHelp, you’ll be matched with an experienced professional therapist to whom you can speak at any time- including in between sessions if you need extra 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 more. If you’ve just experienced a profound loss, therapy may be the best way to process it and move forward productively.
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