Steps for Grief
The loss of a loved one is difficult to deal with, and triggers feelings of grief. The grieving process ignites a variety of emotions that individuals may not always understand.
When you are grieving the loss of someone it is important to know how the grief process works so that you can identify your range of feelings and eventually come to a place of acceptance for your loss. Some people prefer to work through their grief at home or with grief counselors, while others are comfortable joining grief support groups.
6 Steps for Grief
1. Allow yourself to go through the five stages of grief as part of the grieving process.
The first stage is denial and isolation. It is common to deny that a tragic loss has taken place, and it becomes easy to socially withdraw. Feeling angry is the second stage you experience during the grieving process, followed by bargaining and depression. Acceptance is the final stage.
2. Set small positive goals for yourself.
Make them realistic. An example of a goal may be to smile three times in one day, to make the bed or to find something funny to laugh at. Setting goals will help focus your mind and give you something to accomplish.
3. Exercise a little bit each day.
Not only is exercise healthy for the body but it is also healthy for the mind. Feelings of depression and anxiety ease with the help of exercise and physical activity. If you need the motivation, join a community gym or ask a friend to become your walking or biking partner. Make the exercise or activity challenging or stimulating so that you look forward to doing it.
4. Stay social.
It can be easy to slip into a depressive state of isolation during the grief stages, but hard to be pulled back out from it. Everyone needs time alone during the grieving process, but alone time is different from isolating yourself. To make sure you do not become isolated, make phone calls to your friends and family, go out and do things you enjoy, join them for meals and go to the movies.
5. Pick up a new hobby, such as gardening, or re-engage in a favorite activity.
Putting your mind to a task keeps you focused on something other than your sadness and gives you new things to look forward to. It can be a hobby that you do individually or as a group in the community.
6. Write in a journal.
Keep a log of your feelings from one day to the next. It is unrealistic to expect drastic changes, since grief is a process that can take weeks, months or even years, depending on the individual. A journal allows you to express yourself and your most private thoughts without anyone else knowing about them. This is a therapeutic activity often recommended by grief counselors.
For some people, feelings of grief consume them to the point that they cannot function. If you notice that you are not eating, not taking care of yourself and not getting out of bed, you should consider seeking professional help in dealing with your grief.
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