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8 Wise Ways to Heal from Grief

8 Wise Ways to Heal from Grief

Let’s start with some facts about grief.

Fact 1: we will all experience grief in our lifetime.

Fact 2: we can grieve many things, not just death. The reasons for grief are many, such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, or the letting go of a long-held dream.

Fact 3: Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life.

One of the things that makes grief so difficult to experience is that there is no way of ‘fixing’ it. You can’t fast-forward through it. It won’t magically disappear overnight. For some people, although feelings of intense grief get less frequent, there will always be part of them that is grieving. 

With this in mind, the best thing you can hope for is to find ways of coping with grief, small actions that make the pain more bearable. Here are 8 proactive, practical tips that could help give you some comfort.

  1. Express your feelings

Psychologists have long talked about the benefits of expressing how you feel. Recently neuroscientists from UCLA have shown that talking about emotions has a noticeable effect on the brain and reduces the intensity of the emotion. In short, it’s important that you find a way to identify and accept how you are feeling. This doesn’t always have to be by talking to another person – try writing a journal instead if you’re uncomfortable talking about your grief.

  1. Look after your wellbeing 

Grief often causes disrupted sleep patterns and a loss of appetite. This can have a major impact on your physical health, which will only make you feel worse. While you can’t make your grief disappear, keeping yourself physically healthy will give you the strength to deal with your emotions. Sleep when you can and try to eat well and regularly.

  1. Join a support group

Support groups allow people going through similar experiences to come together and share their feelings. You may find that meeting people who understand you makes you feel less alone. You won’t be pressured to share your story if you are not ready. Contact a bereavement organisation, such as Cruse, to find a group close to you.

  1. Take up a new hobby or revisit an old one

After losing someone you love you may have put a lot of your life on hold. You may have lost enthusiasm for many things you once enjoyed. In time, when you feel ready to start healing, you should think about returning to hobbies and interests that you enjoyed before your loss or finding new ones to invest your time in. Creative hobbies like arts and crafts will give you a sense of achievement, while physical activities like sports will boost the chemicals in your brain responsible for positive emotions and keep you healthy. Discovering that you can find enjoyment in small things again can be an important part of healing.

  1. Try to keep to a routine

Many people find that keeping to a routine gives a sense of structure and security during an otherwise uncertain time. Small things like going to bed at the same time or planning what you’ll do with your weekend can help. It will provide focus and clarity in at least one aspect of your life as you learn to cope with your grief.

  1. Avoid alcohol and drugs

It can be very tempting to try anything that will numb the pain of losing a loved one. You might think that alcohol and drugs will make you feel better, but any relief will only be temporary, and you will feel much worse in the long run. If you are drinking or taking drugs more frequently as a way of numbing your emotions, contact a bereavement support organisation, such as Cruse, for advice.

  1. Socialise with friends

Grieving is an isolating experience. If you feel like you need to be alone, that is fine. You must grieve in the way that seems right to you. But maintaining social relationships can be a way of getting the comfort and support you need. Try to schedule a few meetings with friends in an environment that you are comfortable in. And remember – if you have fun, this is okay. The small moments of laughter and happiness during grief are important and you do not need to feel guilty about them.

  1. Find a token of remembrance

Dealing with grief does not mean forgetting your loved one. Many people find comfort in thinking of ways to keep their loved one’s memory alive. You could keep a few of their possessions in your home or have a special photo album full of good memories. This way you can honour the memory of your loved one in a positive way and make sure they still have a place in your heart and your life.

Our 8Wise™ Wellness Programme focusses on Mental Wealth to develop optimal levels of Mental Health and Wellbeing, helping to cope, even when experiencing the most difficult times in life.  It can help you address every aspect of your health and wellbeing and improve your quality of life, especially of experiencing a huge life transition, such as those triggered through bereavement and loss.

If you would like to book an 8Wise™ session or register for our next 8Wise™ Wellness Programme cohort, get in touch today.

For more information on 8Wise™ and the mental health services provided check out the rest of this website.

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