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Overcoming the loss of a loved one can seem like an impossible challenge. Despite what you read or hear, you might feel like there’s simply no way to ever overcome your grief or move forwards with your life.
But there are little reminders that will help you process your feelings and find your own way to cope with the overwhelming pain.
Remember that all emotions are temporary
Although there’s no guide to tell you that you’re grieving in the correct way, or when the pain will lessen for you, it can be helpful to remember that every emotional state is temporary. Life is full of ups and downs that we can’t predict. Instead, allow yourself to reflect on a previous challenge in your life. Notice how you made it through that event in your life and trust that you will do the same again. It won’t feel like this forever.
Remember that grief is unpredictable
Sometimes, we find ourselves going through the day feeling positive and headstrong that it seems nothing will break us. But then we’re hit with an emotional outburst that we can’t explain. We weren’t expecting it because it seemed everything was going well. And suddenly, we doubt whether we were actually coping as well as we thought we were. But just like there’s no set roadmap to follow, grief is unpredictable and comes in cycles. It’s normal to feel every emotion at every stage and it doesn’t mean you have undone any ability to cope.
Remember to treat yourself with kindness
Experiencing all of the different emotions that comes with grieving can be exhausting and really take its toll on your physical and mental health. Remember to treat yourself with love and kindness through this journey. Avoid consuming ‘quick fixes’ like alcohol and sugary foods that will numb the pain in the short-term. Instead, drink plenty of fluids, nap when you feel tired and consume nourishing foods.
Remember that you are not alone
Grieving can feel isolating at times. You might feel that nobody understands you or you don’t enjoy connecting with your friends like you once did. But you are not alone. Reach out to support groups to share your emotional journey with someone that is experiencing something similar to you. Whilst grieving can feel different for everyone, sharing your emotions can be healing for both you and the other people involved, by encouraging you to process your different emotions.
Remember the ways your loved one impacted your life
At first it might seem too painful to think about the positive times you shared with a loved one whilst grieving them. But taking time to remember all the wonderful ways that they impacted your life can really help you accept your loss and celebrate their life. When you allow yourself to reminisce fondly about the experiences you had with your loved one, you encourage yourself to feel grateful even in the face of adversity. It may even encourage you to honour them in ways such as fundraising for their favourite charity or participating in a community event in their name.
Remember you are stronger than you think
When faced with adversity, it can feel impossible to ever get through the challenge or resume ‘normality’ once again. But when we look back at some of the most trying times in our lives, we allow ourselves to see that we did make it through the impossible after all. Grieving takes time, as does finding a new way of living your life. But allow yourself that time. Don’t judge your emotions or the rocky journey you’re on. Trust that you are far stronger than you think you are right now.