Life is a melting pot of hopes, desires and joys; disappointments, losses and grief.
The journey of life is marked with highs and lows: from the joy of welcoming in a new family member, to fulfilling a long held ambition, to the loss of a loved one through separation or death, to health issues, and various other personal and professional setbacks. Feelings of sadness, loss and grief are inevitable and part of human nature.
- Grief may be the result of personal or professional disappointments. Everything will not always go according to plan and falling short on our life’s hopes and goals can produce feelings of grief.
- The possibility of separation or divorce is extremely painful and stressful and can leave us wondering who to confide in and to ask for help.
- We may decide to relocate for personal or professional reasons. However this decision can also leave us feeling unsettled. A sense of loneliness is not uncommon as it can engulf us when we start missing those we care about who are not close at hand, or missing familiar places and terrain.
- Similarly, losing a job or moving into retirement can impact our self-esteem and confidence, and find us facing a sense of isolation and grief.
- It is not uncommon to feel depressed following a diagnosis of a life-threatening health condition or terminal illness.
- The death of loved ones such as a partner, a child, parents, friends, or our pets, can also create a deep void in our life which is not easily filled.
Feelings of helplessness and despair can overcome us in such circumstances.
How to cope with grief?
Coping with grief and loss is never easy. The following steps are often recommended as ways to move through grief:
Talking and sharing –
Sharing your story with friends or family members often brings a sense of relief and comfort. It is important for us to connect with others at these times so that we don’t become detached.
Connecting with your Inner Self –
Sometimes connecting with your inner self can be healing, to take time out for yourself. Reading a book, listening to music, expressing yourself creatively by writing and drawing; or travelling, meditating or drawing from your spiritual beliefs, can help significantly while coping with life after a personal or professional loss.
Taking care of yourself –
People face different emotions at different times while trying to cope with grief. This can take its toll on overall physical and mental health and wellbeing. It is advisable in these circumstances to exercise and do something to use pent-up energy. This can be an opportunity to take up new hobbies like walking, swimming or gardening. Try to limit alcohol intake, eat and sleep well and have a routine in place as that can feel very supportive.
Joining a support group –
Joining a network of people undergoing similar situations in life, can often help with coping and becoming resilient.
Seeking help –
Try not to hesitate to reach out and seek professional support. An experienced therapist or counsellor will understand your specific needs and will help in overcoming grief and loss.
With proper care and support you will be able to recover and adapt to your new situation.