Grief and loss
I have been thinking a lot recently about all the different losses that I, and other people, have experienced in the last few months, there have been so many.
There are the big ones, the devastating ones, such as the loss of someone you love and there are other types of loss, devastating in a different way - for example the loss of ‘normal life’ the loss of a social life, the loss of a job, the loss of physical contact with the ones you love.......
What losses have you experienced in the last few months?
Grief needs to be recognised, all grief. Ignoring, avoiding, or diminishing its importance may feel better in the short term but long term not so much – grief will come back and bite you when you least expect it if you don’t deal with it at the time. This is true when you loose someone AND true of other losses. Loss is so hard to deal with – most people don’t like change at the best of times and loss brings with it so many different levels of change, when we lose something we tend to work towards getting it back, and this isn't always possible.
How do you cope with loss?
I think how you deal with loss is completely individual, everyone deals with things differently however I think that one of the really important things is to spend some time really feeling the loss, grieving for what was and what may have been AND to spend some time away from the grief, time doing things that help you to focus on other things and things that bring you joy. I often recommend people schedule some time (an hour on a Wednesday for example) when they will sit and think about what they have lost, grieve over it, in whatever way works for them, then, after the hour, schedule an activity they can do to take themselves away from that grief for a short time, something that brings them joy. This isn’t to say that you do it once then that’s it, you do it as many times as you need to process the loss.
Talking through the loss can be beneficial as well, talking things out can help you to see things in a different light, to get new perspectives on things or even just make sense of what has happened – you can talk to friends, family, colleagues or even a professional such as a counsellor. The advantages of talking to a counsellor is that they are not in any way connected to your life, you can say what you want, talk about how you really feel without the fear of being judged or of upsetting them (something that can hold you back when talking to people you know).
Exercise can really help too. When you experience a loss it can trigger your fight or flight system (often associated with anxiety) leaving you feeling on edge, jumpy, tense etc. By undertaking some exercise, even a gentle walk, the fight or flight system gets what it needs and calms down somewhat. Exercise also releases endorphins, calming and happy hormones AND exercise can give you a bit of time away from the business of your own head OR it can give you time to think things through.
For more tips on how to help yourself when going through a loss see https://juliasamuel.co.uk/pillars-of-strength>
And if you feel like you need to talk to someone why not get in touch