Losing someone is never easy. Unfortunately, though, it is something that all of us experience multiple times over our lives – whether parents, grandparents, siblings or dear friends. Grief never gets easier, either; it is a unique and dissembling process that does not wait for life to make space. This is why around half of those bereaved during the pandemic were unable to properly process their grief.
Mental health should always be of paramount importance, and yet is extremely difficult to prioritise – particularly in the event of such profound loss. What can you do to take care of yourself through the grieving process?
Talking to others
It can be easy to fall into poor habits when grieving, and to not recognise them for the poor habits that they are. One major example of this relates to company; grief often feels like something that should be countenanced alone. However, this can be an unhealthy way to approach grief, as, without an external voice or opinion to help guide your thinking, you can inadvertently lead yourself down some dark paths.
Whatever your own opinions or comfort levels, you should do your best to reach out to friends or family members. It might be helpful for you to talk to others who have been afflicted by that same grief, or simply to talk to another human being about the things you’re feeling. Either way, you are able to get some meaningful context for your feelings and feel your way around complex emotions without enabling problematic conclusions or thought patterns.
Grieving is a non-linear process, and extremely difficult to navigate as a result. Even the presence of friends and family can become confusing after a while. This is why a professional voice could also be an important one to add to the mix. Counsellors experienced with bereavement and grief can help you understand conflicting feelings, and chart a course through to recovery.
Sometimes, though, as much as talking can be a great help in sorting the various complex feelings you’re feeling, the best course of action can be to get away from things for a little while. Holidays are good opportunities to regroup regardless, but can be especially helpful for gaining space and perspective in the aftermath of a loss.
Unfortunately, time away is not always affordable. It may be the case that your deceased loved one has left you enough to justify a holiday, but that the money is locked up in probate – in which case, a probate loan can be a viable way to unlock enough funds for travel in the short term. Rather than waiting to afford the trip, you can take it as soon as you need to – and benefit emotionally from it.
Exercise and routine
This is not to say that you must disappear in order to find yourself after a loss. In many cases, the opposite can be just as helpful, if not more so. Routine is a crucial thing to find after such a deeply impactful event, and being present in a regular routine can be just the support you need to carry on. Exercise is a valuable constituent part of any routine, and can help you keep your physical health alongside your mental health.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.