Today is Grief Awareness Day. I am now two years into my own journey of grief after the passing of my Mom and over the course of that time I’ve discovered some helpful tips that have worked for me while coping with my grief.
Now I will say, I’m not a licensed professional so this is not a list of tips based in scientific data but my own experience and I hope that if you’re dealing with grief/loss can help.
1. Grief is fluid, not linear
The best advice I received was that grief isn’t something that once you get through the steps you’re done. Knowing that made processing my grief so much easier. Let’s be real, we’re not taught how to manage grief or deal with loss. We know there are steps but no one pays attention to that so if/when loss happens, we have no clue how to manage our emotions. This advice was the best gift I got and one I tell to others to help them if they’ve experienced a loss.
2. Seek out Help When you Need it
When grief gets to heavy and everything feels hard and you find yourself in a funk for a long time, definitely seek out help. Whether its a grief counselor with your church, support group or therapist. You don’t have to manage grief/loss alone.
3. Don’t run from your feelings
Some days you will be sad. Others angry and that’s OK. Feel all the feelings. One of the things I remember being told is that you have to give yourself grace. There is not timeline to grief/loss. I still have my days where I am incredibly sad. Other days when I just hate everything and on those days I journal how I feel. I slow down and give myself some time to do Tips #4 and #6 below.
4. Practice Gratitude
When you are feeling sad or just having a hard day, taking a few minutes to write down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude really does change everything and even on those days that are a struggle, focusing on the good can help you shift your mood.
5. Identify your triggers
One thing I learned while working through grief/loss is to know my triggers. I know Mother’s Day is hard for me knowing this I do small things for myself to prepare for this and to work through that day. Whether it’s a holiday or something else, knowing what will shift your mood is good in not only working through your grief but also giving you lessons on how to cope.
6. Make time for self care
On days when you’re struggling or just not feeling it at all that is the best time to practice some self-care. Now, self care doesn’t have to be a full day of pampering but it a mix of that and something small like watching your favorite movie, doing a hobby you love or just giving yourself quiet time to rest and refresh. Whatever you do, be sure that as you work through your grief you make time for self care.
7. Grief/Loss doesn’t go away
Like I’ve mentioned briefly on on there tips, You don’t wake up one day and you’re over your grief. What you do, do is learn how to cope with the your grief and loss and learn how to manage it over time.
Grief/Loss is one of those things we don’t talk about like we do other things in life. I get why, because it’s hard. It’s emotional and it’s not an easy process. My hope is by talking about grief and sharing these tips that have helped me work through my own process of grieving that it can be helpful for anyone else.