As a grief recovery coach, I often get emails from people who have just recently suffered a loss. They all want to know the same thing. What can they do to get through the pain, sadness, and grief? Here are some strategies my clients have found to be helpful.
7 Strategies for Navigating Loss:
- Practice grace with yourself. Allow yourself to do what you need to take care of you without judging yourself for any actions you do or don’t take.
- Don’t let others tell you how to grieve. There is no right or wrong way. There is only your way. Do, however, be aware of any unhealthy coping mechanisms and speak with your doctor if you find you are using work, alcohol, medication, etc. in a way that jeopardizes your wellbeing.
- Ask and accept help from others. Just be certain it is in a way or ways that align with your needs. Being specific with what will help you the most makes it easier for them and for you. Make a list of things like meals, childcare, household chores, self-care needs such as massages, or other tasks that you may not have the energy for while in the early stages of grieving.
- Understand that many people don’t deal well with death. Sometimes they say or do things that can feel hurtful. It’s okay to let someone know that what they are saying or doing isn’t helping. Let them know what would feel more supportive instead.
- Use plans and strategies you create in advance to navigate through significant days or events ahead. Firsts can be hard – and they are different for everyone. For one person, a holiday like Thanksgiving may be the hardest…for another, perhaps a birthday, or wedding anniversary. Think ahead and figure out what you will need on days you anticipate will be more difficult.
- Trust that you are here with more life ahead of you to fulfill some purpose. Finding that purpose can help us navigate through loss and eventually rebuild a life we can love while still honoring the one we’ve lost.
- Know that whether you feel it right now or not, you are more resilient than you probably imagine.
There are no magic bullets for easing the pain of loss. However, you can follow these tips to navigate through it in a way that you honor your needs and feel more supported by others.