Fall is the season of acknowledgement. The process of grief can bring about numerous emotions that can be hard to acknowledge and work through. We grieve for many reasons: the death of loved ones, failed relationships, the passing of pets, missed opportunities, negative health diagnoses and more. Each one brings its unique challenges. Here are a few tips and bits of information to help you move through the grieving process.
- Don’t ignore your feelings. As hard as it can be to face your roller coaster of emotions, it’s essential that you do in order to move through your grief. Don’t bottle those feelings up inside; find a healthy way to release them.
- There’s no set timeframe for grieving. The process of grieving is as unique as each individual going through it. Don’t put time demands on yourself and assume you should be over it in a year. Take your time.
- You don’t have to cry. Crying isn’t a required part of grief. You may feel your loss just as deeply as others and never shed a tear. That’s OK. But if crying is part of your grieving, know that it can be healing.
- You don’t have to be strong and stoic. You’re not expected to hold it together. You may feel all the emotions and cry, wail and even laugh sometimes. Acknowledge and accept your feelings and know that it’s all part of the grieving and healing process.
- It’s OK to move on. Moving on doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your loss. It only means you’ve accepted what has happened. You’ll keep all the good memories and can continue to honor those lost.
- It’s normal for emotions to sneak up on you. Just when you feel like you’ve got yourself together, you may have a crying spell in the middle of Wal-Mart. And that’s OK. There may be triggers everywhere for a while.
- Grief can have physical effects, too. You may experience nausea, vomiting, weight changes, insomnia, headaches and a decrease in your immunity. This is normal, but if symptoms are severe be sure to see your doctor.
- Don’t forget to take care of your physical body. You can prevent some of the symptoms listed above and release stress and emotions through good self-care. Be sure to maintain proper nutrition and some exercise.
- Talking to someone is very therapeutic. Talking with someone outside of friends and family can be a tremendous help in the grieving process. Find a therapist, counselor, life coach, pastor or support group where you feel comfortable.
- Find your own outlet for your emotions. Journaling, painting, gardening, woodworking and many other hobbies can allow you to express yourself. Hobbies also provide comfort through maintaining routines.
Remember that your grieving process and timeline are all your own. Acknowledge how you feel, and take the actions that are right for you to move through to a place of peace and healing.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and board certified Focused Awareness Meditation Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.