5 Tips to Help Deal with Grief
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Recently we talked about grief, now we're sharing our top 5 tips to help deal with grief.
Whether you’re grieving a loved one or the affects of the current lockdowns, we hope this will help you conquer this and more.
1. Get back to basics
It’s no doubt that grief can be a lot to process, so strip back your commitments and focus on your basic physical needs food, water, sleep and movement. It’s important to ensure you keep going, remember your physical health is a tool to help conqueror grief.
Food and water
Seems like a no brainer, but it is so easy to forget to eat or drink, especially during a difficult season. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it, but how many times have you had a headache just because you’ve simply not eaten or drank enough - give your body the fuel it needs. A reminder to ensure you are consuming a good balance diet, don’t leave out those fruit and veg, after all food is medicine.
This is a big one and while it’s likely to be affected try your best to get a good solid sleep, 7-9 hours is the recommended amount, this is the time where our brain processes and restores the body both physically and mentally. Not only will sleeping help you process your grief but it will help your mental health, as often lack of sleep can contribute to mental health issues.
Now when I say exercise it doesn’t have to be big ole gym session - I’m mean if you can then great, otherwise its ok. Quite frankly grief can take up a lot of energy so be careful not to exhaust yourself with strenuous exercise - find a balance. Try opt for light movement like walking, pilates, mobility or simple stretches, this is good to burn energy, get the blood flowing and release those endorphins, leaving you physically ready to face and process your day.
2. Take time to face it
The best way to deal with anything is to face it, going around it or pretending it’s not there won’t make it go away. At the moment of loss it’s often go go go with planning, lots of messages and sorting out necessary arrangements such as funerals. But once that’s done and it time adjust to your new journey, factor take the time to acknowledge your loss and start to face the grief. Whilst it’s great to have activities to take your mind off your loss, be mindful not to let these be complete distractions. In my experience it doesn’t go away so process as you go and if you need to take time out do it, don’t feel pressure to be ok and act like nothing happened.
3. Have a outlet
Grief doesn’t give you a break and often can pop up at random times. I recommend finding a way to let it out and express your feelings, thoughts, questions, anything you want, better out then in as they say. Here are some ways I like to express and explore:
Writing - having a journal where you can be totally honest with how you’re feeling or maybe creative writing such as stories, poems or letters.
Drawing or painting - at times you can’t find the words, that’s ok. Use your imagination and artistic expression to release.
Talk to a family member or friend - a good chat to a friend or family who will just listen to what you have to say, someone you feel safe to be vulnerable with and someone who can reassure and support you.
These are just a few suggestions there are many ways to let your feelings, find your thing and keep pouring out your truths, don't hold it all in.
Yes I dropped that C and T word, seek professional help whether it be a counsellor or therapist, Personally I think everyone should always seek moments of counselling, not just when problems occur but in general to check in with ourselves, build self awareness and mental capacity. I’ve personally had counselling and I’m not ashamed to say it and it’s great, remember these are professional people who don’t know you so no pre-judgements, and are trained to listen and help you process. As my counsellor always told me this is your time, you decide what you want to do with it - be brave and get you some counselling/therapy.
Disclaimer counsellors and therapists won’t fix the issues but will guide you through your process.
5. Be present with nature
When grief hits, you may feel or want life to stop. I often recall many times just feeling numb or what I like to call being in auto-pilot still functioning and doing what I need to do, but not remembering or being present in anything. Getting outside whether for a walk and just being around nature can really help, it doesn’t have to be the countryside a simple walk or trip to the park. And whilst you’re outside take in all living things, trees, grass, sun, sky, birds, people etc.
My favourite task is to check in with your senses one by one,
What can you see?
What can you hear?
What can you smell?
What can you touch?
What can you taste?
Try it and while you’re outside also take 5 deep breaths in of fresh air and reassure yourself you will be ok.
I hope these tips help, feel free to try them yourself, whether you're grieving the affects of this pandemic, lockdown or the loss of a loved one or maybe you know someone who needs to hear this share and help them out. Alternatively if you are supporting someone grieving see how you can introduce these tips to them maybe its simply cooking their favourite dish or just giving them a call.
Here are some more link to companies and charities with more advice and tools on dealing with grief.
The Good Grief - https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org
The Grief Encounter - https://www.griefencounter.org.uk
Winston's Wish - https://www.winstonswish.org