It has been stated that there are five stages to grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Experiencing these emotions are normal, but as I mentioned earlier, it is different depending on the individual. Do not be discouraged if you have not experienced all of these emotions or if you experience them out of order. Whatever you experience is unique to you.
You may feel that you will never move past the grief that you are experiencing. It’s true that grieving is a wild ride and you will experience many highs and lows through the course of your life. Instead of staying in neutral during the grieving process, take steps to help you move forward with your own life. You are alive and your loved one would want you to live your life to the fullest.
Here are some tips to help move you through the grieving:
Lean on your family and friends. Your family and close friends love you. They want to be there for you. They may not always say or do the right thing, but having good support is crucial in this time. (A note to family and friends: Be a good listener. Many times we just want to jump in and fix the problem, but this is a problem that can’t be undone. Just being there is all they may need.)
Self-care. Try your best to get proper rest. Eat well and exercise. Physical health will ultimately assist your mental health. In addition, find things that make you happy. Going for a walk, get a pet, or find a hobby.
Find a support group. Being part of a support group will help you to see you are not alone. It is a safe place to share your feelings, free from judgment. Click here for tips on how to find the right support group.
Psychotherapy. Do not get down on yourself if you just cannot move past your grief. Psychotherapy will help. A therapist will be able to help you identify your grief roadblocks and give you practical solutions. Click here for information about therapy options.
Grieving takes time. Be patient with yourself and those around you. Visit When to Seek Help for more information.