Dealing With Grief Alone

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The word “alone” confuses and frightens many. People believe that being alone with your grief is the most terrifying thing that can happen to them since they do not know what to do with themselves when they are alone with their pain. Others prefer to be facing their grief alone as they may be feeling like no one cares or that their loved ones are not able to help them cope with their emotions. No matter whether you are the person who is scared of solitude or who embraces it, here are some ways that you can deal with grief on your own.

1. Allow Yourself to Face the Void

“Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out,” says Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD. The whirlwind of thoughts and emotions within your during this time of loss can be scary but they are only thoughts and emotions. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up and to acknowledge what is within you, no matter what it is. You may feel angry about your loved one’s death. You may feel absolutely nothing at all. Realize these feelings and allow yourself to experience them fully. Only once you’ve accepted your feelings will you be able to truly begin the healing process.

2. Put These Feelings Down Somewhere

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The best way to work through feelings has always been to write them down or to find a creative outlet in which to express them. If you’re a writer, start a journal that tracks your emotional status daily and pour every thought you have into it. If you’re someone who enjoys creating music, start writing songs that reflect how you feel about your loss and how you are dealing with it. No matter what creative activity you choose to do, it’s important that you find something to pour your emotions into so that they don’t remain bottled up. Lindsey Pratt Psychotherapy, LMHC says, “it’s not only the benefit of catharsis in the moment of writing that makes journaling so effective – It’s also reviewing what you’ve written.”

3. Don’t Fall Into a Rut

When you begin grieving, it is necessary to allow yourself to rest and to take a short break from the things that you normally do daily. However, making a habit of this will end up causing more harm than help. After you’ve dealt with the initial feelings that followed the loss of your loved one, make an effort to stick to the schedule that you had prior to grieving. You may not feel like doing anything at all and this is natural. You don’t have to push yourself to do everything that you used to but you should make an effort to do the important things so you don’t put yourself in a worse position mentally.

4. Put Together a Shrine or Dedicate a Space to Your Loved One

Just because your loved one isn’t physically with you doesn’t mean that you have to forget about them and remove every memory of them for your life. Instead, build a shrine or create a sacred space where you can gather some of their belongings and remind yourself of the importance that they had in your life. You may even want to go to that shrine to vent sometimes when you are having difficulty coping with the loss. However, don’t let this shrine get in the way of your grief process by making you refuse to accept the death.

5. Maintain Yourself

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“As we process the reality of our loss, we are also trying to survive emotional pain.”  That’s what Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP said. It won’t do you any good to treat your body terribly while you are already struggling emotionally. Remember to do things like eat right, exercise, groom, shower, and maintain your overall health and hygiene. Doing these things will make you feel better and will help you maintain some normality in your life while you are coping with the loss.

Sources:

http://www.amhc.org/58-grief-bereavement-issues/article/8447-coping-with-your-own-grief

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/emotionalhealth/Pages/Dealingwithloss.aspx

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/coping-loss-bereavement-and-grief

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