Coping With Grief & Loss
After experiencing a major loss, grief can significantly affect both your mind and body. It can be all encompassing, painful, and debilitating. While grief is a normal, natural process, there are ways to manage and cope when you feel ready.
What is grief?
Grief is a powerful and sometimes overwhelming emotion that accompanies life events like the ending of an important relationship, news of a life-changing health diagnosis, or the loss of a home, pregnancy, pet, or loved one. Everyone’s experience with grief is different, and while time can lessen the pain, grief can last months or years.
There are five known stages of grief:
Some of us experience these stages in a different order or only face some of them.
How grief can affect you mentally
The extreme sadness that comes with grief can do a number on mental health. After suffering from a major loss, you may feel angry, bitter, depressed, and/or anxious.
How grief can affect you physically
Grief can also lead to physical side effects, such as loss of appetite, body aches and pains, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. The chronic stress many people experience from grief can increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Tips to cope with grief
Talk to a therapist or counsellor
While you may have a solid support system, there could be aspects of your grief journey you do not want to share with your friends and family. A licenced therapist can offer a safe, non-judgmental place to discuss what’s on your mind and provide you with tools to cope with your loss.
Lean on your friends and family
While a counsellor or therapist has the knowledge and tools to help you navigate your grief process, friends and family can offer a different level of closeness, comfort, and familiarity. If you’re feeling lonely and isolated, friends and family can provide warmth, strength, and a shoulder to cry on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept offers from your support team to cook, clean, or otherwise help you manage your day-to-day routine.
Nourish your body
Grief puts your body through persistent stress, which can trigger cravings for unhealthy meals and snacks. Alternatively, grief can make you lose your appetite. Eating lots of junk or not eating enough can leave you feeling even worse. Stay hydrated and make room for plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Sleeplessness is one of the most prevalent physical side effects of mourning. And loss of sleep can negatively affect the immune system, mood, focus, and more. Cool it on the afternoon caffeine, and take time to wind down before bed by way of gentle yoga, meditation, reading, or a bath. Do your best to keep sleep distractions—like clutter, TV, and your phone (not on sleep mode)—out of your bedroom.
In one way or another, we will all experience grief. By understanding how grief can take a toll on your mental and physical health and by making room for self care, you can better handle the days ahead.
If you are experiencing grief and would like to escape somewhere to get some help then call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here . They will find the retreat and programme that is just right for you.