I’m going to keep this blog post as short and sweet as possible. I’ve been asked more than a few times in the past few weeks for tips on managing the impact of grief and loss. I am providing tips I normally share concerning expressing thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner, as well as self-care. It is my clinical opinion that these are key to moving through the grieving process in a healthy manner. They are as follows:
1) Discuss your thoughts and feelings with trusted members of your support network. Grieve in the company of others.
2) Journal your thoughts freely, without limitations.
3) Move the energy associated with uncomfortable feelings as much as you can. This can be done via walking, dancing, stretching, etc.
4) Go to nature. This can be extremely cleansing and allow you a supportive space to feel uncomfortable emotions.
5) Meditate. You can also set an intention before you meditate to feel peace or experience less pain.
6) Express your experience through art, such as with painting, drawing, or music.
7) EAT HEALTHY FOOD. DRINK WATER. REST. AVOID SUBSTANCES.
8) Engage in self-identified self-soothing activities. What makes you feel good, even if temporary? Cuddling your friend? Cuddling your dog? A warm bath? A foot rub?
9) Attend grief and loss support groups. Sometimes talking to others who are also grieving provides a different type of benefit than talking with our loved ones.
10) If you are experiencing thoughts or emotions that are hindering your functioning, meaning hindering your ability to socialize, manage your health, manage your meaningful roles (such as working, parenting, attending school), or managing your living situation, seek mental health assistance (you can find therapists and psychiatrists at Psychologytoday.org).
It should be noted that it is OK to feel the difficult feelings of grief. You may have heard the phrase, “It is OK to not be OK.” I agree with this. The above suggestions may help you, but you do not need to move through the grieving process quickly. Go at your own pace. Email me if you have questions, or comment below. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this Dr. Lopez. I think our inclination is to try to “tame” grief. Their is a difference with attempting to tame grief and manage grief. Grief is elusive and we do not always know when or how it will strike. Trying to control the grieving process is like trying to tame it; whereas, allowing it to come and being present with the experience is more in line with managing one’s grief. I appreciate your post on this. A nice follow up might be on how to comfort or support someone going through a loss, just a thought.
Thank you, Mechelle! I appreciate your comment.
🙂 I think we all should be able to feel all of our emotions and energy freely and without shame, therefore allowing emotions to come through with activities such as art, dancing, crying or talking is very beneficial. I may do a follow up post. Thank you again!