How To Take Grief In Your Stride

How To Take Grief In Your StrideHere are some useful tips that you could use to take grief in your stride – from a bestselling wellness and happiness author.

We will all deal with grief at various stages in our lives, whether we’re losing a friend, family member or even a beloved pet. However, this does not mean that dealing with grief or loss gets any easier.

In some cases, it may even feel more difficult as we get older, as we’re more aware of the impact a loved one’s absence can have on our lives.

That being said, those we love would not want our own lives to grind to a halt in their absence. In fact, they’d likely be comforted by the notion of us responding in the exact opposite way to this – by moving forward with our heads held high and embracing all that life has to offer.

However, this is easier said than done when dealing with grief, especially in the first few weeks and months.

With all this in mind, I’m here to help. As you might know, I am a bestselling author of the resiliency psychology filled book called Bounce Back.

Plus I founded the groundbreaking video course called The Anxiety Cure.

I love to share strategies to move forward from the challenges in their lives – stronger, calmer, wiser.

9 Tips To Take Grief In Your Stride

Here are some useful tips that you could use to take grief in your stride.

1. Understand the five stages of grief.

Working to better understand the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) can make the grieving process a little easier to process, as you can put a label on your emotions or behaviours. In short, it makes it easier to understand why you may be acting or feeling in a specific way while also showing you that you aren’t alone. 

It is also important to remember that you cannot set timelines for grief. That is, you cannot ‘speed-run’ through all five stages within a week – and in fact, you may find that you bounce back and forth between them for several months (or even longer).  Understanding that grief is a process will again make it easier to get a handle on your emotions without feeling as though you have to dismiss them. 

2. Don’t try to bottle up your emotions.

Whether you’re attempting to put on a brave face for those around you or trying to return to normality as quickly as possible, bottling up your emotions will never work out well in the long run. After all, in doing so, you aren’t properly honouring your feelings, meaning that they’ll only strengthen and get harder and harder to deal with. This could cause your mental health to spiral even further.

As such, it is important that you let yourself feel however you want to feel and that you do not attempt to hide this from those around you. Remember, you’re all in a similar situation, and you would not want them to hide how they are feeling – so why are you attempting to hide from them? 

3. Consider speaking to a therapist.

The death of a loved one can be an incredibly traumatic event, even if you were preparing yourself for the loss for some time. As a result, you may benefit from talking to a trauma therapist during the grieving process. Again, this can help you to better process your complex feelings and emotions, especially as they’ll be able to provide you with practical guidance on the steps you can take to control them. 

4. Take as much time off as you need.

While you may be keen to return to your normal routine as quickly as possible after a loss, especially as this will give you a sense of normalcy, it’s important that you do not return to work or school before you are fully ready to do so. After all, not only do you need some time to work through your feelings, but you may find that you’re simply unable to return to your normal routine right away. After all, complex feelings such as grief can also impact your level of focus or attention span, meaning that tasks that once took a few minutes now take up several hours of your time.

5. Look back on the happy memories you shared.

Looking back on the happy memories you’ve shared with those you have lost can be painful to begin with, as doing so will remind you of the fact that they are no longer with you. However, these memories also serve as a reminder that they lived a life worth remembering – they experienced great joy, nights where they did nothing but laugh, and days where they did nothing but smile. As such, looking back on these memories can fill you with a sense of peace and comfort while also ensuring that you keep your loved one close to your heart. 

6. Try to do things you enjoy.

It is normal, when experiencing grief, to withdraw from anything other than the ‘necessary’ tasks you need to do to get back, such as going to work or school. However, this is not healthy or sustainable in the long run, as you also need to give yourself a chance to enjoy yourself again, as opposed to staying stuck in your grief.  As such, you should try to make time in your routine for things you enjoy during this time, whether that means dedicating a few hours to your hobby or rewatching an old movie that always makes you laugh. Either way, the more time you dedicate to joy, the gentler the coming weeks and months will feel on your overall wellness. 

7. Spend time with those who make you happy.

Spending time with those you love, such as your friends and family, can also make the grieving process a little easier. This is because they often know exactly how to bring a smile to your face. However, despite this, many people tend to isolate themselves when dealing with grief. There are many reasons for this. For example, you may be subconsciously attempting to protect yourself from feeling this bad again by pushing away those closest to you. Alternatively, you may not want them to worry about you. But the truth is, they are going to worry about you anyway, especially if you keep turning them away when they are trying to help.

8. Take it one day at a time.

As mentioned earlier, you cannot put a timeline on grief. There is no schedule which you can adhere to, that means you’ll be grief-free within a certain number of months, no matter how much work you may put into your mental health during this time. For example, you could find that you go several days or weeks feeling ‘normal’, only for a memory to be triggered that leaves you feeling as though you are back at square one again. While it may not seem that way, this does not mean that you cannot continue to take grief in your stride. You simply need to acknowledge that grief is something that you need to handle one day at a time. 

9. Embrace life as much as you can.

One of the best ways to respond to grief or loss is to use this as an incentive to make positive changes in your life or to make unforgettable memories. After all, grief and loss show us just how short life is, meaning it is not something that we should waste even a single day of! There are many different ways in which you can embrace life following a loss, whether that means you put yourself out there more, take risks in ways you’d never dreamed of doing before, or even head out on a transformative travel journey.  

Remember, this is likely something that the person (or people) that you have lost would like you to move forward. They would not like the idea of you staying at home and feeling sad – just as you would not want this for others should anything happen to you. As such, you should let go of the feeling of guilt that many of those who are experiencing grief deal with, and remind yourself of the fact that it is okay to chase joy and new experiences. 

Final Thought: Take Grief In Your Stride

When dealing with grief or loss in any capacity, it’s easy to feel as though things will never get better. After all, how can life ever be the same again after losing someone you loved so deeply or who impacted your life in ways they did not even realize?

However, the truth is things will get easier over time. While nothing will make up for their absence, you will learn to grow around it – and the space they occupy in your heart will remain full of the memories you shared with them. Furthemore, there are plenty of steps that you can take that will help you to manage your grief as opposed to trying to run away from it.

For example, from speaking openly about how you are feeling with those around you or mental health professionals to trying to embrace all that life has to offer, there are countless ways in which you can take relief in your stride. Doing so will help you find joy in life once again so that you’re able to honor your loved one in the best way possible – by living a life worth living and ensuring that you’re putting your happiness first.

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