How to Handle Grief After Losing a Loved One

No matter what the circumstances are, losing a loved one can leave you in a state of shock. In the days and weeks that follow, you may begin experiencing the signs of grief. How you experience grief can fluctuate, and it's helpful to understand more about the ways you can manage your emotions.

Accepting Your Emotions

Addressing your emotions following the loss of a loved one can feel very challenging. It may feel tempting to ignore painful emotions and distract yourself with other activities. However, if you don't give your emotions room to exist, they're likely to resurface later. Similarly, if you have days where you feel happy or settled, you may start to wonder if your reaction is normal. Try to sit with each emotion as it arises. You could find it helpful to discuss your feelings with others or write them down.

Resting and Treating Your Body Well

Don't underestimate the tiredness that comes with your emotions running high. When you experience painful emotions, your body releases hormones that place extra strain on your energy levels. So if you feel as though you need to sleep more often, go to bed earlier and take naps if you need to. You should also treat your body well so that it has the resources you need to handle grief. For example, stay hydrated, balance your nutrition and avoid consuming too much alcohol.

Focusing on Your Inner Needs

Everyone has their own way of addressing their inner needs. If you are religious, you may find that addressing your spiritual requirements helps you manage grief. Exploring the loss of a loved one in the context of your religion can bring comfort. Alternatively, you can try meditation and activities such as yoga that promote a sense of stillness and periods of reflection. Some people also find that creative outlets suit them well, such as journaling, art and creating memory books of your loved one.

Trying Counselling Sessions

Sometimes it's difficult to manage grief on your own. If you find that your symptoms aren't getting better or that you need additional support, try counselling sessions. Talking to a psychologist is a useful way to explore your emotions and find coping mechanisms. If you have children or other relatives who were close to the person you lost, you may want to try group counselling. With ongoing treatment, you may start to feel more resilient and find ways to handle everyday life with ease.

Contact a local psychologist to get more tips.