10 STRATEGIES

TO HELP

YOU MANAGE YOUR GRIEF

 

     1.

Talk to your friends or family. Keeping your grief bottled up will only lead to further suffering. Choose someone who might be more understanding, patient and compassionate to listen to your story over and over again. Sometimes, we have to go over events to be able to process them. If you haven’t got such friend(s) and you feel comfortable to pour out your emotions online, there is no better way to do so. There are many social platforms for you to connect with others who might be going through a similar experience to yours.

     2.

Accept help from friends, family, neighbours, whoever offers it. When we are grieving it can feel too much to have to suddenly deal with grocery shopping, maintaining the garden or the house. You might have small children, so it might be nice if someone offers to take them for a day out or for a sleepover. You might have pets that might need a vet visit and you just do not feel up for it. Whatever it is that you might need help with, push your pride and brave face aside and accept the help you need.

 

 

    3.

 

Writing or drawing can be extremely therapeutic. If your loved one died suddenly, there might be unsaid words. Put them down onto a paper, tell them what you wanted them to hear. Perhaps you regret you didn’t tell them enough that you loved them, perhaps there was a conversation that you were planning to have and never got around to it. If art is your thing then draw, paint, sketch your feelings and emotions onto the paper. For small children especially, drawing can be a way of expressing their feelings.

 

 

 

Once you have written your letters or drawn your pictures, you can decide what you want to do with them. For some, what they put down on the paper is rather painful, so they don’t want to necessarily keep holding on to it. Some of my clients used helium balloons and sent messages up into the sky. Some turned their letters into little sailing boats and let them sail away. Some tore them up into little tiny bits and threw them into the wind, some burned their letters and let the ashes be scattered in the wind. Do, whatever feels right for you. If you want to keep the letter or drawing, please do so. If it feels right to let go then choose the right way for you to do so.

 

4.

Never ever compare your grief or grieving journey to someone else’s. We are all individuals and we all grief differently. Only because your friend dealt with her/his grief quickly doesn’t mean yours has to be the same. It will depend on our relationship that we had with our loved one how we are going to grief.

 

5.

 

Do not choose a bottle or recreational drugs as a substitute for talking. There is nothing worse than isolating ourselves and numbing our feelings and emotions with alcohol and / or drugs. Once you recognise that you have started to do this, please reach out for help. It might be the hardest thing that you’ll ever have to do, but it might be the best decision you have ever made.

 

 

6.

 

Make a memory box. Collect all the little special things that will remind you of your loved one and put them into a box. It can be a CD that your loved one enjoyed listening, his/hers glasses, watch, small item of clothing (scarf, tie) to remind you of their scent, their favourite pen, their favourite parfume/aftershave, their phone with loads of pictures of both of you together.

 

7.

 

If you are struggling to sleep, do not watch TV until the early hours of the morning. Pick up a book and try to read. I know that focusing on reading might be hard to start with as your mind will often drift away. Choose a book that it’s not too hard to follow. Perhaps order a grief related book, so you can connect to others through their stories. A good author for child loss is Zoe Clark-Coates. She has written Saying Goodbye, The baby Loss Guide and Beyond goodbye. Another good author is Cathy Rentzenbrink. She has written The last Act of Love (this book is her personal story about losing her brother) and A Manuel for Heartache. Also, Julia Samuel has written Grief Works which is packed with case studies (she is a bereavement therapist, so these are examples of her work with bereaved clients). Another great author is Dr John Wilson and his book Plain Guide To Grief-really easy read which normalises a lot about grief. If your grief triggered anxiety, a good book for you might be Anxiety, the missing stage of grief by Claire Bidwell Smith

 

 

8.

 

Practice Mindfulness. There is so many mindfulness videos on YouTube that you don’t even have to pay for. If you are new to mindfulness, please do not choose meditations that are over 10 minutes long. Start with short meditations and then progress to longer ones.

 

9.

 

Exercise. Even if you do gentle exercise such as Yoga, it will help you to calm your mind and body. If you are up for a little more, vigorous movement even at the comfort of your own home, you can do cardiovascular exercise. Again, there is tons of free videos on YouTube. Pick the one most suitable to you and just enjoy it.

 

 

10.

 

Keep a reflective journal. Again, similar to letter writing to your loved ones, keeping a reflective journal can be very therapeutic. Jot down what you did that day, how you felt, who did you speak to and so on. It is nice to reflect back. To see the changes through our grieving journey. Do not expect to see changes fast. Again, we are all different. Be gentle with yourself. There is no right or wrong way to grief. If you have days, when all you want to do is stay in bed, then do it.

 

 

I am sincerely hoping that you will find these 10 strategies useful. However, if you feel that you have done everything to help yourself through your grief and you continue to struggle, please reach out to a professional. Your first point of call might be your GP and see what he/she suggests. Talking therapy is fantastic as you can tell your therapist what might be hard to talk to others about.

 

If you are not sure that therapy is right for you, why not schedule an initial 50-minute consultation with me. This is not a therapy session.

In this consultation with me, I’d like to get some background information about you first. Once we’ve done this, we’ll look at where you are now and the issues surrounding your present situation. Then, we’ll explore what you would like to achieve and what you would like to happen for the future.

After we have this conversation, if I believe that I can help you, we will look at ways in which we might work together.

If this is something you’d like to do, please call or email me

Email: denisa@crawleybereavementcounselling.co.uk

Phone: 07 429 255 636