Helping Yourself Through Grief and Loss
Do what you can to stay healthy. Reaching out for support will help a great deal. You may find yourself asking: “Why?” It’s normal to seek meaning by asking questions, but there’s not always an answer for loss. With time, your loss may still be part of your life, but not the only thing in it.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself helps your body heal from the physical and emotional symptoms of grief. Pay extra attention to healthy exercise, sleep, and eating routines. What else do you need to feel better? Having family around can help you feel loved. Or you might need a walk or movie with friends to take your mind off things for a little while.
Joining the world again is part of healing. These tips may help:
Stay in touch with family and friends, even if it’s hard to talk.
Tell people how they can help. It can be as simple as walking your dog.
Attend a support group of people who have been through the same type of loss.
When to Get Help
There’s no normal length of time to grieve. But if you feel stuck and unable to move on, it may be time for professional help. Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness. It indicates that you are taking responsibility for your recovery. Be alert to depression and call your doctor if you:
Can’t go to work or take care of the kids.
Can’t eat or sleep normally.
Feel your grief is getting worse.
Have repeated thoughts of suicide or of harming yourself. You can also call 9-1-1 or a crisis hotline (located in the yellow pages of your phonebook) if you have these thoughts.
At some point, you’ll begin thinking about the future. You’ll want to look ahead and make plans. To help yourself reach this point, try to do one thing each day to join in life. Keep at it, even if it feels strange at first. Your life can never be exactly the same. But one day you’ll find you’re living life fully again.