Grief
How do I help myself?

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Accept that you are in the grieving process which is a marathon rather than a sprint. Eventually you will be able to feel closer to your old self with occasional pangs of grief. and you are now changed by the experience of your loss. 

Give yourself permission to feel your grief, do not try to suppress your feelings.

 

Allow your support system to be there for you. When someone you can trust with your feelings asks how you are doing, do not automatically answer with “I’m okay.” You are likely not okay, you have experienced a significant loss in your life. 

 

Ask for help with practical matters such as funeral arrangements, child care, preparing meals, and helping with chores. Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed. 

 

Try to prepare yourself for any estate or other legal issues to take much longer settle than you may anticipate and may be themselves be very painful. Depending on the circumstances, some of these types of issues can take years to go through the legal process.

 

You don’t have to be strong or take care of the other adults. Other adults usually can, and do, take care of themselves.

 

Try to keep a structured routine as much as possible. While there may be disruptions in your routine beyond your control, focus on those parts of your routine that you can control.

 

Make sure to take care of your health. The stress of grief can have a big impact on your physical as well as mental wellbeing. Maintain (or start) a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough sleep. Be vigilant for signs of increased alcohol or substance use. Realizing that you are beginning to use alcohol or other substances to cope with your feelings may be enough. If you find you are having a problem with alcohol or other substances (or a previous problem is getting worse or reemerging), get some help.

 

Incorporate stress management strategies into your daily routine such as taking deep breaths, grounding techniques, and meditation. 

 

Even while grieving, you can experience positive emotions including affection, gratitude, and humor.

 

If applicable to you, attend to your spiritual life whether it is through religious practices or connecting with something greater such as nature.

You are going through an extremely emotional difficult time. Consider getting help from a mental health professional.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other topic on this website,

please contact me.