In the last article I looked at the five stages of grief . I stated that we feel grief at all sorts of times in our lives, not just when a loved one has died. I find that grief is one of the most common issues that clients have to deal with. In this article I will outline some simple strategies that may help the grieving process.
Accept your feelings. This is a key strategy when we grieve. If we allow ourselves to feel the pain and the sadness and don’t try to avoid it or push it away then the grieving process will run its course and allow you to heal as it is intended to do.
Do something physical. Whether it is a slow walk in the park or a fast bout of circuit training at the local gym, exercise can help you move through the myriad of feelings you are having. Your endorphin levels in your blood will rise and a happier mood will probably arise. Exercise also usually involves getting yourself outside too. Being in the fresh air can work wonders for your mood at times (as I type this it’s chucking it down outside, another rainy day in Manchester, so I’m aware that going outside isn’t always a mood lift!)
Tidy up. Again, this may well be about getting yourself physically active and making changes in your surroundings. Moving furniture, having a sort out and decluttering can all make the space you inhabit seem more your own. This can lead to help feelings of control come back into your life.
Talk to friends. You may want to talk to them about the loss that you have experienced or you may want to talk about anything but the loss. Do your friends a favour and give them a heads up about what you do want to talk about and how you want them to be. They may be anxious about talking about your loss so reassure them that it’s ok and it’s what you need or let them know that you are talking to them to take your mind off the situation for a while. Just simple statements like “Hi Bob, I really have the need to talk about losing Jenny right now, would you be willing to listen for five minutes? I don’t need you to try to make me feel better, just a listening ear would be great” will reassure your friend and may result in a more useful conversation for you. It goes without saying that some friends will respond better than others, you will know which ones to pick to get what you need.
Get help from a therapist. Us therapists are trained to help you with your grief. We can’t wave a magic wand and make it go away but we can sit with you and guide you through it. Not everyone will need a therapist to do this but if you are finding things really tough then it may be a good idea to book in with one and see if it helps. If you are interested in working with me, just use the contact form above or phone me on 07966 390857.
All of the strategies above are different ways to manage your grieving process. You may want to use all or none of them. The most important thing is that you give yourself permission to grieve. By doing this you will release the energy stuck in your grieving process so it can be put into having a full life when you are ready.