A large number of men and women have dealt with or known someone who has gone through some shape of grief in their lifetime. Grief and depression can affect a person’s life negatively and hinder many processes that lead to growth. In order for one to move forward in life, one needs to grow, right?
To those reading this that may be dealing with some portion of grief, take solace in knowing I’m going to offer you some help.
Before reading on, read this first:
The following are some tools I’ve learned over the years. Please do not replace these for medical advice; especially, if you are indeed in crisis. My only intention is to pass on some knowledge that may be of help when you are having a particularly difficult time dealing with grief.
- Instead of putting such emphasis in your mind about the day a person died, remember their birthday instead. Celebrate their life instead of mourning their death. For women/couples that may have suffered a miscarriage, remember the day you found out you were pregnant rather than a time that brings you pain.
- Go though the boxes. This one is tough, I have to admit, but you’ll feel better afterwards, trust me. To anyone that’s lost someone, you know what this means. I don’t have to explain it. Sometimes, it’ll do you some good to get rid of some of the things that aren’t important too. I know that is also difficult, however, one needs to realize that deep down, you know this person will not be upset with anyone for getting rid of the unimportant items. Part of moving through grief is letting go. Holding onto too many objects can become unhealthy (ask a therapist) and can develop into a condition known as hoarding, which is a serious mental illness.
- Do something you enjoy, preferably outside. The outdoors are the best place you can be as you’re moving through the grieving process. Take a vacation, go out with a friend; take a walk. Anything to keep yourself from constantly dwelling on sadness.
- Remember the things that bring you joy and participate in them. Go through the motions. Stay active. Listen to music, paint, dance, sing, go see a movie. Whatever brings you happiness, take part in it.
- It’s okay to cry. Male or female, no matter how young or how old…it’s ok, just let it out. We were given tear ducts for a reason. You may just feel a little better afterwards.
- Build a support system. This can be so important. Even if your support system is only one or a few people. It’s essential to have someone to vent your feelings to. This could be a close friend, family member, therapist, or all three. You shouldn’t be alone in times of grief. Isolation is a dangerous thing when you are going through a grieving period. Isolating one’s self could turn grief into depression.
- Write your thoughts down. (Optional) This can be a form of therapy. Getting your thoughts out of you and onto paper is an excellent tool for releasing pent-up anxiety.
- Make peace with yourself and with the departed. If there were any grudges held, arguments had, resentment, or just plain issues before this person’s death…make peace with it and let it go. Forgive them, forgive yourself. You can even write a letter of forgiveness.
The above mentioned tools are just some of many. These are just the highlights of what has helped me the most. As a person that has lost many, mourned severely, dwelled, and later sought healing, you could consider me somewhat of an expert on the subject. However, I remind you not to mistake my helpful tools for medical advice. Although, some have said I’d make a pretty excellent grief counselor…
This post is intended to be thought of in conjunction with my Stress Management post (hence, the similar wording and format.) Think of it as a part two of sorts.