How to Deal with Grief & Loss | Great Health Guide
How to Deal with Grief & Loss

How to Deal with Grief & Loss

Written by Dr Frank Chow Occupational Psychiatrist

When it comes to grief, there is no ‘quick fix’, one step method or a blanket approach that will take away the pain and getting through the emotional impact of losing a loved one. Each individual deals with grief and loss differently. It impacts your thoughts, feelings, actions, physical wellbeing, sense of self, relationship with others and what feels like your whole world.

A recent study conducted in Australia and Ireland revealed at least 20-30 percent of those who have grieved, reported worsening of their physical and mental health and approximately 30 percent felt their needs were no longer being met. It is worth noting that those who didn’t receive enough support from family, friends or a professional had the highest deterioration in their overall wellbeing.

“Remember that there is hope

& life, beyond loss.”

There’s no doubt, every person will experience grief and loss in their lifetime, one way or another. When the time comes, it’s important to learn how to understand and manage your emotions and take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.

Here are five strategies and coping mechanisms to help you manage your grief and loss.

1. Acknowledge your feelings.

It’s important to pause and acknowledge your feelings and range of emotions whether that be sadness, helplessness, loneliness, anger or even shock. Suppressing your emotions will build up and could eventually lead to physical stress on the body. Blocking off emotion stops us from thinking and behaving rationally.

One method to manage this is to find ways to express your grief. This could be going for a walk that reminds you of a happy memory of your loved one or taking the day off from work, to allow yourself the time and space to grieve. Each day will be different and that’s okay. Find your pace and take it day by day.

2. Look after your health – Exercise, Sleep & Eat Well.

During the grieving process, it will be normal to lose your appetite, have poor sleep, experience feelings of depression, anxiety and everything in between. However, in times of grief, it’s important to prioritise your physical and mental health to allow yourself to heal. For example, fitting in some physical movement during the day will increase the serotonin levels in your body, stabilising your mood and making you feel happier. While some days you may have to force yourself to get out of bed, the exercise will progress your healing journey.

Want your own FREE COPY of Great Health Guide

& delivered to your inbox each month?

Look to your right…

If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, like most do, try implementing a regular sleep schedule, exposure yourself to the morning light, change beds or meditate before bed. If these techniques don’t work after several weeks, seek out your local GP for personalised medical advice.

3. Maintain a familiar routine.

It’s normal for your daily routine to inevitably be thrown off. However, after a while it’s important to maintain some sense of normalcy and stabilise your physical and mental wellbeing with a familiar routine. This could be your regular exercise routine, engaging in your usual hobbies and interest and even visiting family and friends. In doing so, you will take back a sense of control over your life, improving your focus and overall mental wellbeing.

4. Rely on family & friends for support.

While most grieving people will want to be alone, it’s important to gain the comfort and support of close friends and family during this tough time. This will allow you to maintain a healthy mindset and wellbeing by leaning on the people who care about you most in the world.

If you feel you’re not being supported, communicate with your loved ones and let them know what you need from them, whether that’s a shoulder to cry, an exercise buddy or just their company. Often family and friends want to help but they don’t know how to respond.

If your loved one is grieving, demonstrate your love and support for them by giving them a call and check-in to see how they are coping. Don’t worry about not saying all the right things, it’s all about showing up.

5. Seek professional help.

Finally, if the loss of your loved one has been impacting your personal and/or work life for some time now, seek professional help from your local GP or a specialist psychiatrist. Prevention by intervention is key to a steady fast recovery.

Author of this article:

Dr. Frank Chow is the Director and psychiatrist at  2OP Health, a specialist in Organisational and Occupational psychiatric service, specialising in work-related mental health care. With years of experience, Dr Chow is passionate about advocating early intervention, education and rehabilitation for all individuals, so they can get back on track with improved clarity, motivation and fulfilment at work. 

To get your FREE MAG each month CLICK HERE.

Love this? Your friends probably will too. 

Why not share the love & forward this article.

Author Great Health Guide

More posts by Great Health Guide

Leave a Reply