How to Deal with Grief and Loss

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Everyone reacts to grief and loss differently; it can depend on many different factors including what kind of loss you suffered, your upbringing, your personal beliefs and/or religion, your age, your relationships, and your overall physical and mental health.  Anxiety, helplessness, anger and sadness are all natural parts of the grieving process, and there is no set time limit on how long the process takes.  Everyone has different needs; some get through the process on their own, whereas others might need help from a counselor or therapist.

Some things you can do to help yourself through the grieving process include:

  • Express yourself; talk to your close family and friends about how you’re feeling. If you’re having trouble expressing yourself, consider talking to a counselor or therapist, or joining a support group of others going through similar circumstances.  Try not to isolate yourself.
  • Let yourself feel sad, and don’t try to bottle up your feelings. Feeling sadness is a normal part of the grieving process, and there’s no time limit on when you should stop feeling sad.
  • Keep up your normal routine as much as possible. Try not to let things like taking care of yourself, your house, or your pets fall to the wayside.  Make a daily checklist of things to get done to help keep you on track if you’re struggling.
  • Extreme emotions can drain you and make you tired, so make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Make sure to keep eating healthy during this process. Changing your diet too much could affect your physical health, which could worsen your bad feelings.
  • Avoid numbing your pain with substances such as alcohol. While what you’re going through now might hurt, it’ll hurt worse after you try to ignore or numb it.
  • If you feel you aren’t making any progress, consider going to see a counselor or a religious leader to help you through the process.

Remember, grief won’t stay with you forever; it will lessen over time.  If you are having a difficult time make sure to reach out to someone for help.  If you suspect someone close to you is having a difficult time, reach out to them, even if it’s just to spend time with them.  Above all, don’t let grief and loss rule the rest of your life.