Each Year on August 30, National Grief Awareness Day is recognized to bring awareness to the ways people cope with loss. Grief is complex. Grief is painful. Grief can be confusing. Grief isn’t foreign to us. Yet it’s something that is rarely talked about. The founder of National Grief Awareness Day desired to spark more communication about loss and grief.
Grief is something that I’m all too familiar with and I’m still learning ways to cope. I can share 5 ways to cope with grief that I’ve learned over the last couple of years.
Understand That We All Grieve
No matter your age, gender, religion, occupation, or lifestyle you’ll experience grief at some point in life. Most people think about death when they hear the word grief. However, there are many types of loss that result in grief. It could be divorce, the end of a relationship or friendship, the loss of a job, or a business that didn’t work out. Grief is a part of life that we’ll all experience.
Allow Yourself to Feel the Emotions
Grief is not a problem that you have to fix. It’s a part of life and a normal part of loss. You may feel sad, disappointed, confused, or angry. There may be moments when you feel one of these emotions and other times you may feel more than one all at once. No matter the emotions, give yourself the space to feel.
Don’t Rush It
During a conversation with a friend a couple of years ago, she said something that has really stuck with me: “There’s no time limit on your healing.” Each loss is different. The way we feel after each loss is different. And, the time it takes to heal will be different. It’s important to not bound our grief with a timeline. You may feel fine for months or years. Then something happens like a certain song plays and you remember the lost. Bam, you’re consumed by grief. And you know what? That’s ok. It happens. Grief is a process and you may not heal overnight.
Seek and Be Open to Receive Support
It can help to have someone listen to you express what you’re feeling. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about asking someone for advice. It’s about having support – whatever that looks like for you. Maybe you need professional help to process the loss. Whatever it is you need be comfortable with calling on a trusted friend or family member, a spiritual leader, or medical professional.
Use Self-Care to Cope
Grief can impact us in so many ways – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Coping with all of this can be stressful so it’s critical to find ways to take care of yourself during periods of grief. A few self-care activities that may help you cope:
- Get enough sleep
- Move your body
- Pray or meditate
- Spend time with family or friends
The list of activities could go on and on. Decide what activities will work best for you and give yourself grace throughout the healing process.
Remember that it’s ok to grieve. Use these tips to help you cope with grief and if you have other ideas for managing grief, share in the comments.