— Warning —
This post deals with death and grieving.
Most of us go through a period of grief and bereavement when someone we love dies. No two people experience grief in the same way. Some externalize the grief with visible signs of deep sorrow and emotion. Others internalize the grief and become somber and withdrawn. Regardless of how we handle the grief, we must go through the grieving process to get through to the other side.
If you are completely overwhelmed, support is available when you’re finding it hard to cope with stress, anxiety or depression. Your local mental health professionals are trained, ready and eager to help you get through this difficult time in your life.
Common Symptoms of Grief and Bereavement
- shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about “being in a daze”
- overwhelming sadness, with lots of crying
- tiredness or exhaustion
- anger – towards the person you’ve lost or the reason for your loss
- guilt – for example, guilt about feeling angry, about something you said or did not say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying
These feelings may not be there all the time and powerful feelings and emotions may appear unexpectedly.
It’s not always easy to recognize when bereavement, grief or loss are the reason you’re acting or feeling differently.
Actions to help you get through the bereavement and loss
Try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member or health professional.
Try these 7 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope:
- Manage your stress levels. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques.
- Enjoy yourself. Doing things that you enjoy is good for your emotional well-being.
- Boost your self-esteem. The best way to improve your self-esteem is to treat yourself as you’d treat a valued friend, in a positive but honest way.
- Limit your intake of alcohol. When times are hard, it’s tempting to drink alcohol because it “numbs” painful feelings. But it can exaggerate some feelings and make you feel angry or aggressive. It can also make you feel more depressed.
- Exercise. Even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. It can help you sleep better, have more energy and keep your heart healthy.
- Get adequate sleep. Around 7 to 8 hours is the average amount of sleep an adult needs for their body and mind to fully rest.
- Build your resilience. Resilience is what allows you to cope with life’s ups and downs. Making something worthwhile out of painful times helps your resilience grow.
Consider peer support where people use their experiences to help each other.
Search and download relaxation and mindfulness apps.
As a final thought, keep in mind that time heals all wounds the vast majority of the time. Allow time to heal your pain and hurt.
Look up, put on a smile and, after some time, we’ll see you on the other side of your grief, bereavement and loss.
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