Grief is a natural response that comes to life when we lose someone or something that we hold dear. However, many tend to put some kind of constraints on what we are entitled to grieve, and that can be quite daunting. The reality of it is that everyone has the right to grieve over someone or something no matter how big or small it might be. We can grieve the loss of a loved one or job, bidding someone farewell or going through an accident or difficult experience. No matter what the issue at hand is, we all have the right to grieve.
Grieve can be difficult to manage, and therefore we have put together 5 tips that can help you cope with your grief in a compassionate and healthy way:
1. Take your time with it
So many people think that after some time, grief will just magically disappear. But this is not true. There is no definite time-frame for grieve, and it is imperative to take your time with it. There is no single way to overcome grief, but taking our time with it will help us find ways to accept and manage it.
2. Do not compare it
It is natural to want to compare our grief to others, especially when it gives us a sense that we are not alone. However, every one of us responds to grief in a unique and different way, and comparing it to others might backfire and make us feel worse. For instance, we might move past the grief faster than others or even slower, and both situations can make you feel bad. Do not invalidate your experience with grief by comparing it to that of others, each one of us does it in their own way.
3. Do not avoid it, feel it
One of the things that many people do is try to avoid their feelings and emotions. When we try to avoid something, it usually comes back stronger and harder. That is why it is instrumental for us to feel our grief intentionally and give it the time it needs. Embracing and accepting your feelings will help you grief in a healthy way. By doing that, we are validating our own pain and emotions which is a major stepping stone in healing.
“what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.’’ - Carl Jung, Swiss Psychologist
4. Find the right support system
It is not just okay to ask for help, it is also necessary! There is this huge misconception, that asking for the support of others makes you weak, which can’t be any further from the truth. It is normal to need support from family and friends or even from mental health professionals and support groups.
A while ago, one of my close friends told me that I need to start welcoming love and support from my family and friends, and that needing support is a normal and imperative part of healing.
5. Take care of yourself
Our body and mind are connected. When we take care of one, the other will get better as well. Make sure to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Following a healthy diet and working out have great benefits on both our body and mind. It is also imperative that you do things that you find beneficial for your mental health, such as meditating, practicing mindfulness and journaling. Some people might also find relief in praying or turning to a spiritual power. Whatever it is you decide to do, make sure that is a step forward towards self care. Not to mention that in order to take care of those around you, you need to stay strong yourself.
When the grief you are feeling has to do with the loss of a loved one, it can be helpful to set up a fund or project in their name. This way you might feel closer to them and less alone.
Ultimately, it is important to acknowledge our grief and emotions around it. Take your time with it, feel it and embrace whatever it throws your way. Just always make sure you are taking care of yourself first through it out.
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