Most people will experience grief during their life in one way or another. Losing a friend, partner, parent, spouse, family member or anyone else who held great significance in your life is devastating, and can feel very painful. It’s important to have some healthy coping mechanisms in place to support you during your grieving period.
Grief is a natural response to loss. When we lose something or someone we have been highly emotionally invested in, it can completely disrupt our day-to-day lives. We can experience grief by losing a loved one, a pregnancy, a job, a marriage or a way of life.
We can also experience grief when we make major life changes, such as moving away from our hometown, selling our family home, It affects us in many ways — our emotions, thoughts, behaviour, beliefs or entire belief system, physical health, identity, and our relationships with others. Grief can leave us feeling anxious, angry, isolated, sad, depressed, relieved, overwhelmed, or numb.
Loss is an extremely personal experience, so don’t ever feel ashamed or guilty for feeling any particular emotion in response to your grief. If the thing or person you’ve lost was significant to you, your grief is valid, and it’s completely normal to experience these feelings. That said, and as we mentioned before — having a “toolkit” of healthy coping mechanisms will help you to navigate through the complex emotions of grief in helpful, constructive ways.
It’s important to establish or maintain a healthy daily routine. This provides a sense of familiarity and comfort in what can feel like a time of complete upheaval and confusion. Making sure you get enough sleep, eat nutritious food regularly, get outside in the fresh air once a day, and do some physical activity (when you feel ready) will all help to create a sense of stability. It’s vitally important to practice self-care and nourish yourself as you create space for your grief.
As we know, grief can bring with it a lot of mixed emotions, such as anger, sadness and overwhelm. While it might be tempting to numb these emotions with alcohol or other substances, the most important part of the healing process is to experience and address these emotions head-on.
You might like to try journaling your thoughts or feelings, taking some time in a calm or beautiful place to cry and release your sadness, channelling feelings of anger or chaos into safe physical activity (such as boxing or dance), or talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. All of these things can help you process your emotions in healthy ways, and prevent your feelings from becoming “bottled up”.
It can also be very helpful to work with a therapist. Therapists are specially trained to help you navigate your own grieving period and healing journey. A good therapist can help you navigate through the various stages of grief, listening objectively and providing support and objectivity as you work through your difficult period of loss.
However you experience or manage your grief, know that these feelings will pass with time. You can come to accept grief as a part of life and accept your loss, find new meaning in life, and eventually move on as a stronger person.
Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to grief counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.