Loss is an incredibly difficult experience, whether it is the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job, we all must learn to cope with grief and loss eventually. It is a natural part of life, and, while it is rarely easy, there are many ways to cope with grief.
Normal grief occurs when we experience a loss that is natural and orderly. The peaceful death of an elderly family member or transition into a planned retirement are examples of experiences that induce a normal grief process. IT is important to understand that no matter what your loss, there is no right or wrong way to grief.
Everyone processes grief differently, and it is perfectly normal to experience a wide range of emotions. It can be helpful to talk with family or friends about your feelings, and seek counseling if needed. It is also important to be patient during the grieving process and allow yourself time to process and heal.
There are several coping strategies that are helpful in processing and dealing with normal grief. Exercise, journaling, spending time with loved ones, and talking about your feelings are all excellent methods of managing the emotions that come up during a grieving process. Being mindful of your thinking patterns, and watching out for ultimatum words like “never”, “always”, “nothing”, “everyone”, can be helpful in identifying when your thoughts might be unrealistic or exaggerated. Challenge these thoughts with more reality-based ideas. For example, a thought like “I will never be the same” can be challenged with a more positive, reality based thought like “This experience has changed me, but I will learn and grow from this.”
Be sure to take adequate time for yourself, get plenty of rest, drink water and eat regular healthy meals when you can. Avoid short-term unhealthy outlets like alcohol and a lot of screen time. While a little distraction can help us regulate, too much can actually get in the way of a healthy grieving process.
Finally, it is important to remember that grief is process that is often confusing and non-linear, and it is OK to not be OK. Seeking support and comfort during difficult times is important. By establishing healthy coping strategies and keeping support, it is possible to accept your loss and step into the new circumstances of your life, whatever that may be.
f you feel like you are struggling to access coping strategies, or need additional support, please contact our office to learn more about both group and 1:1 therapy options at (916) 474-9325 or email@example.com.