Coping with Grief
Grieving is a process unique to the individual experiencing it. Some may cry, some may feel empty, and others may experience anger. In many ways, grief is similar to clinical depression. Some people may feel extreme sadness, insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss. Suffering can also develop into complicated grief, which, unlike uncomplicated grief, does not seem to dissipate with time and can look like depression.
Depression, however, introduces feelings of guilt and unworthiness unrelated to the loss. People experiencing complicated grief are unlikely to strongly contemplate taking their own life, whereas some people with depression have frequent thoughts of suicide. Unlike grief, a feeling and process, depression is a medical concern.
For people experiencing depression, the only way to cope and heal is to seek professional help. This may include antidepressants or therapy. For those experiencing grief, however, there are small steps that can be taken to help cope and process the feeling. The National Foundation for Cancer Research has compiled ten simple steps to cope with grief to assist the grieving process.
1. Surround yourself with supportive people
Find friends or family members who accept your grief. Many people feel they must hide their sadness around others, which can disrupt the healing process. This can lead to isolation and increased despair. Instead, surround yourself with people who are comfortable with your grieving process.
2. Be gentle with yourself.
There is no specific timeframe for someone to accept their loss and move on from grieving. Don’t judge yourself harshly for ‘not doing better’ or ‘taking too long along the way.
3. Express your grief
If you want to cry, cry. If you’re going to feel anger, allow yourself to do so. Express your grief and learn about it. Acknowledging your feelings will help you move forward.
4. Exercise daily
It can be challenging to will yourself out of bed some days. However, it is essential to regulate your body with a bit of exercise daily. Exercise releases endorphins that will boost your mood naturally. Start with small goals – like running up the stairs one time – and continue building into more extensive sequences.
5. Keep a journal
A journal is a tool that allows you to express yourself safely. Let all your feelings flood the paper, whether it is sadness, anger, or regret. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to express these feelings, even with the best support systems. Finding a safe and personal way to do so will help in processing such feelings.
6. Pace yourself
Grieving can be exhausting. Don’t overbook your schedule or make too many commitments. Allow yourself extra time to rest and process all that is happening.
7. Have a little fun
Though it is essential to pace yourself, allow yourself the opportunity to do things you love. Whether it is a hobby or spending time with a friend who always makes you laugh, incorporate joy into your life – even if it is just a little at a time.
8. Set a regular sleep schedule
Your mind may be racing all night, and you may even experience insomnia. However, getting enough sleep is vital in keeping your mind and body healthy. Create a nighttime routine to help prepare for a full 8-hours sleep.
9. Make a list of activities each day.
It is common to experience forgetfulness when grieving. Making a list of goals or activities that need to be done will help you stay on track. Keep the list short with only essential activities.
10. Talk to your psychologist.
You may or may not be concerned about depression developing from your grief. If you are interested, speak to your psychologist right away. However, even if you are not concerned about depression, talking to a psychologist can help you find ways to cope.
Mental Health is more essential to our well-being and happiness than we realize. We counsel and promote “Emotional strengths.” This is the domain of Positive Psychology in Mental Health.
My therapeutic process primarily relies on the counseling relationship. However, it’s also common to utilize other Positive psychological strategies. Different types of therapies, such as cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, emotion regulation, and family therapy, are also employed. I will listen to understand your situation and how you feel. I will assist you as you become more precise about your behaviors and capabilities. Most importantly, support you as your life begins to turn and improve.
I assist people with emotional expression, couple therapy, and leadership improvement. Other areas include substance abuse and encouraging the development of critical skills. Critical skills include becoming aware of both positive and negative characteristics of self. Essential self-awareness occurs through the vehicle of individual counseling and can lead to rediscovering values in emotional experience. The change process begins with focused therapy, strong therapeutic relationships & a psychological focus.