Grief can be a long recovery process and isn’t easy to handle. If you’re dealing with grief, it’s important to allow the process to take its time.
Grief can’t be avoided or eliminated quickly. However, there are some processes and activities that you can use to help you feel some relief as you heal.
Try these strategies to help you understand your grief and recover:
1. Understand grief. Grief refers to the way you handle a loss. The loss can range from a loved one to a pet. Grief can also occur over the loss of health, employment, and other life events.
- Grief doesn’t fit one cookie-cutter definition. It can vary greatly from one person to the next, and even change during one person’s lifetime. The way you handle loss can differ at various stages of your life.
- Grief can include anger, resentment, sadness, guilt, and other feelings.
2. Changing thoughts. One of the common themes of grief is changing thoughts. This can occur rapidly and take you from feeling fine to feeling absolutely devastated, all in a few minutes.
Your thoughts about your loss will also vary through shock, sadness, guilt, anger, and acceptance as you go through the grieving process.
3. Concerns of loved ones. The grief process can be different in each person, so the way you handle it may not be the same as your friends or family. Your loved ones may be concerned about your grieving process. They may feel your process is too short or too long. They may feel that you’re hiding your emotions or sharing them too much.
- Your friends and family need to understand that the grief process doesn’t have a set expiration date. You’re not required to stop grieving at a particular point in time. Your process may take longer or shorter than what others perceive as normal.
- Let them know of anything they can do to help you, such as preparing meals, helping with the house or errands, taking the kids off your hands for a while, or anything else you feel would bring you some relief.
4. Using distractions. It’s common to use distractions to deal with grief. Distractions can help you temporarily forget the pain. They can also make you avoid dealing with the emotional impact of your loss. It’s important to use distractions in moderation and be patient with your feelings.
- Focusing on work or hobbies, watching a funny movie, or reading a great novel can help keep your mind occupied temporarily.
5. Preoccupation with the loss. The nature of your loss can preoccupy you and make you focus solely on the grief.
- Part of the recovery process is understanding that long-term preoccupation with the loss isn’t healthy. This differs from short-term preoccupation, which will happen for a while. As time goes on, if you continue to feel this preoccupation, seeking outside help from a counselor may help.
6. Support groups and therapy. Grief counselors can help guide you through your grief and find ways to help you deal with your loss.
- You may also benefit from support groups or therapy sessions.
- Also, there are forums and Facebook groups filled with others who are also experiencing grief. The people there can help you sort through your thoughts and share ideas that have helped them.
7. Accept the recovery process. It’s not possible to just skip over the pain of loss. If you accept that the recovery process will take time and effort, then it will be easier to handle it. Accept your feelings and focus on rebuilding your life after the loss.
The grief process can take a significant amount of time. You don’t have to pretend that it’s easy to fix. The stages of the grieving process can be overwhelming at times, but your journey to recovery can be eased by seeking help from others and finding ways that allow you to move forward past the devastating effects.