The loss of a loved one is unavoidable and bound to happen at some stage in our lives. The emotion of loss is known as grief and is the suffering you feel when someone you love is taken away. Depending on the relationship you had with the lost one and the circumstance of demise, you may experience unexpected emotions from shock or anger to guilt, sorrow, and disbelief.
What is important to understand is that the emotions you may be feeling are normal. Allow yourself to feel them. Though grief experienced by each person is unique, what makes it connecting is that all humans experience it at least once in their lives.
Here are some constructive ways to start your healing journey after losing a loved one.
- Give yourself time to process the grief
You cant try to suppress the grief, but it can’t be avoided forever. To heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Avoiding feelings can lead to unresolved grief, ultimately causing more complications.
Accept that you may not be in a mental space to start with your daily routine, and you may have to adapt your life to what you need emotionally. This is the first step in learning how to start to live in a world without your loved one.
2. Take care of yourself
We tend to think of the mind and body as separate, but they are more connected than we understand. Grief can affect both, causing fatigue, loss of appetite, and other physical signs of loss. At such times it becomes really important to take baby steps and make conscious efforts to drink more water, eat well, sleep, and exercise. Once the body feels healthy, you will be able to cope up emotionally.
3. Find creative outlets for expression
To heal after the loss of a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences of life. It is also a time that allows you to find some meaning in life by self-reflecting. Try to experiment and reconnect with your values. You can even try some creative outlets for expression, which may help you find purpose. Some activities include journaling, art, music, and traveling. You can join or get involved in a cause that was close to the heart of the lost one.
4. Reach out to people for support
Needing some time to collect and process the grief is valid, but completely isolating yourself will create more complications. It is important to surround yourself with people who can support you emotionally. Reach out to friends and family with whom you feel safe to talk to and express. In case you feel that the emotions are too much to bear, and you aren’t able to connect with others, you can take help from mental health counselors specializing in grief counselling.