Losing a loved one can cause several overwhelming emotions: unexplainable anger, deep loneliness, and great disbelief. The devastation that comes after the loss can be so unbearable that you start to question the point of life anyway.
Having these feelings is normal and valid when you’re going through the different stages of grief. While recovering from the pain may take some time, there are ways to begin your healing slowly. Finding healthy coping mechanisms and emotional outlets can gradually help you get back on your feet.
Manifestations Of Grief
Grief is not only felt on an emotional aspect, but it can also affect your physical well-being and reflect on your health. It is essential to recognize the manifestations of grief as a way to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. As Edna M. Esnil, PsyD says, “Prioritizing daily self-care and making efforts to take action. Accepting that daily self-care is hard work and challenging.” Here are some of the symptoms:
- Body aches and fatigue. Your body feels stressed when you are going through a challenging time. As a result, your sleep is interrupted, which makes you constantly tired and prone to having muscle aches.
- Difficulty in breathing. This symptom can be a result of either of these two things: heart problems or anxiety. If you are prone to cardiac disease, be sure to check with your doctor. Otherwise, you can try meditation and breathing techniques to cope with anxiety.
- Change in appetite. Due to high stressors, your appetite can drastically increase or decrease. You are more likely to experience digestive issues as a result.
- Lack of focus. You may feel distracted and zoned out from reality as you deal with heavy emotions of loss. It is possible to be forgetful and unorganized during this time too.
- Prone to sickness. Apart from the body pains and headaches, your immune system also weakens as a result of stress. If you are not eating correctly or getting proper exercise, that can affect your health, too
Finding An Outlet For Grief
“Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out,” explains Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD. Despite the confusion and heartbreak, you may feel, remember that life goes on. Dealing with grief may not have a specific duration, but it is essential to find healthy ways to get through every day.
One way to cope is to express your thoughts and emotions. You can do this through writing in a journal or engaging in art or music therapy. There’s no need to be a master in the craft; you only have to let go of what you’re feeling inside.
Staying busy can also give you a sense of purpose and motivate you to get out of bed. Try to take on a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. This way, your mind is preoccupied with productive things instead of wallowing in sad thoughts. An excellent activity is learning recipes in the kitchen that you haven’t done before. You can develop new skills while making sure that you get enough nutrition.
According to Tali Yuz Berliner, Psy.D. “Individuals may avoid discussing the loss as well as avoid people or places that are associated with their grief. This experience can put an individual in a vulnerable position with regard to their mental health.” Being locked up in your room all day can also increase your feelings of depressions. For now, avoid places or reminders that can trigger negative emotions. Change your scene by going outside for a quick jog or a relaxing walk. Including exercise in your activity can increase your positive mood.
Lastly, do your best to reach out to trusted people who you can talk to about your feelings. Having a supportive company will remind you that you are not alone as you grieve.
Like any other feeling, grief needs release. Choose an outlet that best suits your needs. It will only get better from now on.