Helping Yourself Heal From Grief and Loss
Losing someone or something is a challenging process to go through. Whether through bereavement, a breakup or general distance, it’s recognised as the grieving process. Yet both grief and loss are personal and unique experiences, that their definitions do not do them justice.
Although grief is an expected response to loss, the exact response cannot be predicted. We each react differently to loss. The grieving process and its stages also impacts how we grieve and deal with our emotions. Even our personalities and ways of thinking can affect how we heal from grief and loss.
Whilst there isn’t a guide on how to fully deal with grief or a timeline in that matter, there are some coping techniques that can help along the way. Here are some ways of helping yourself heal from grief and loss, no matter how big, small, or unique your loss may be.
It’s essential to treat any significant loss as a loss. Allow yourself to grieve and heal, yet with some personal boundaries and coping techniques in place.
At Kenna and Turner, we offer sympathetic and professional funeral services, fully aware of grief and its impacts. We’re here for you through bereavement and loss, just at the other end of the phone.
What is grief?
Grief is the emotional response to loss. It reflects anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, disappointment, and other feelings brought up by losing someone, something, or a situation.
When we speak of loss, we almost always think about bereavement. Yet grief can also be experienced through relationship breakdowns, job losses, and a situation where a disconnect occurs.
Symptoms of grief can be challenging to deal with, as they can range from physical to psychological signs. The most common include sadness, shock, panic, insomnia, depression, fatigue, weight loss/gain and fear. Yet again, both grief and loss are so personal and unpredictable that symptoms will always differ.
There are different types of grief, which can impact the strength and process of such feelings. Yet, in general, grief is seen as a rollercoaster of emotions, yet without an end in sight. Helping yourself heal from grief and loss is encouraged to work through the process.
The grieving process
Processing grief will materialise differently for everyone. Yet, there is a grieving process, with five key stages, which most people will experience.
Denial: Denying the reality of loss. Denial is used as protective armour to protect one’s emotions and mental state.
Anger: Feelings of anger and unfairness are common through loss. Blaming others is usually the case through this stage.
Bargaining: Looking for ways to turn back time and change the loss that you’re experiencing. Although unrealistic, this again is a way to protect one’s emotions from the reality of loss.
Depression: Feeling depressed is expected through the grieving process. Believing that your purpose has gone, feeling withdrawn from life, and feeling hopeless are common symptoms of grief and loss.
Acceptance: Acceptance of grief is the last stage, where reality sets in. Coming to terms with loss is key here. However, there’s no expected timeframe or a set of realisations for this/
There’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief. There’s no expected timeline or end date. There’s no diagnosis. Yet, there are ways of dealing with personal grief and loss to reduce the load. Here are some ways of helping yourself heal from grief and loss to incorporate into your daily life as you work through the process.
Helping yourself heal from grief and loss
- Understand the reality of grief
The reality of grief is unpredictable. It’s wise to understand this and that your way of dealing will differ from the next person. This will help to reduce the pressure that usually follows the grieving process.
- Talk about your feelings of grief.
Your feelings matter. It would help if you openly talked about your grief when the time’s right, as this will help digest and accept. Opening up to someone you trust or considering counselling sessions is recommended.
- Prepare for different emotions.
The grieving process can bring up many different emotions. Preparing yourself for this is essential. You’re going to feel angry, hopeless, frustrated, sad, regretful, and out of control. By preparing some suitable coping strategies, you’ll be ready to work through your emotions.
- Listen to your body and mind.
Both grief and loss can be exhausting to experience. This is the time to think about your health and wellbeing. Listening to your body and mind will be essential to help yourself heal in the long term.
- Accept support for grief and loss.
Both personal and professional support will be waiting for you through the grieving process. When you feel ready, accepting support will be helpful. Whether that’s a listening ear or a counselling session, processing your emotions and opening up will become easier as the process progresses. It is crucial to be in touch with your feelings, which will be possible through professional support.
- Find a coping strategy.
Coping will be essential to get through the initial stages of grief and loss. Helping yourself heal from grief and loss will be possible by finding a healthy and proactive coping strategy. Whether that’s exercise, meditation, self-care, self-development or helping others, a positive distraction will benefit.
- Treasure your memories and love
It’s important to remember those you’ve lost. This is also the case when it comes to different types of loss, such as a breakup. Although hurt and sadness may be attached, it’s important to treasure the memories and love that have occurred for your mental health. Remembering is extremely helpful through bereavement, primarily through the later stages of grief.
- Allow yourself to accept and to move on.
The time will come where you begin to accept your loss. You must allow yourself to move on. You’ll never forget and/or honour. Yet to heal from grief and loss will mean to rebuild. Remember, taking care of yourself as you grieve is the number one priority.
The loss of a parent, of a child, of a friend, of a partner, of a family member, of a job, of a relationship or a situation, are all losses that can turn into grief. Helping yourself heal from grief and loss will be very important, impacting how you come out the other side of the process.
Learning how to cope, open up, rely on others, and accept will be the end goal. Yet, in your own time and in your way, healing will follow.
For more guidance through the grieving process, reach out to Kenna and Turner. We are here to support you and those around you.
Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2021 at 11:43 am in Latest News.