Grief can be crippling. It can feel unbearable and never-ending. It is one of life’s most difficult experiences—losing a loved one, a pet, a home, a job, whatever it is that has shaken your world and led to your grief.
There is no quick fix for grief, but there are ways to move through it, catch your breath, and find hope. First, it is important to point out, that no matter how alone you feel in your grief there is always help available. The counseling professionals and therapists at Rooted & Rising regularly help clients through the unbearable. We help provide coping tools and the support you need to keep moving forward.
Here are some things to remember when grieving:
1.) These feelings are not going to last forever.
That is not to say they will ever go away completely. Grief can come in waves—in and out of your life. But it does get better. It becomes less all-encompassing over time. The best thing you can do for yourself during times of grief is to allow yourself to feel it, ride the wave, don’t run from it or hide or try to drown it out. Feel it, breathe through it, let yourself cry, and know that it will pass. Good times, times of gratitude and peace, will follow.
2.) You can do it.
Feelings of grief can feel unmanageable. It is truly an awful way to feel but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle it. Your body was built to handle it. You can get through it. You are stronger than you think you are. No one wants to feel pain so the tendency can be to run from it. You may want to turn to harmful substances or distractions to get away from the pain but the pain will still be there until you face it. Give yourself space to experience these painful emotions and build resilience.
3.) Give yourself grace.
Be gentle with yourself. Grief is exhausting. Allow yourself to rest, to say “no” to invitations, to have lazy days. Make sure you are nourishing your body with healthy foods, water, and rest. Avoid turning to “quick fixes” like alcohol or sugar — those will only make you feel worse.
4.) Grief is not a straight line.
You aren’t made of stone or rubber. You aren’t meant to not feel or just bounce back. You may have a great day followed by a really bad one. That isn’t to say you have gone backward, that is just how grief works. Don’t expect a cure-all, “everything is good now” moment, you aren’t traveling from point A to point Z, but rather in a series of loops. You may have moments of calm for weeks on end and then suddenly be overcome with pain and sadness. This is still forward progress. The more accustomed you get to ride the wave of grief the better equipped you are to get through it.
5.) Whatever you are feeling is normal.
The way you feel is normal. It is ok to not be ok. There is no right or wrong way to experience grief. There is no rule book. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you feel — anger, sadness, or even relief. It is all ok and valid. Everyone has their own story and their own experience. There is no one size fits all.
6.) It can be helpful to channel your grief into something.
It can often be useful to channel all the negative feelings you are flooded with right now into something to memorialize a loved one or to take on a meaningful project. Some examples could be planting a tree, creating a memorial space or memory book, or doing some charity or volunteer work. There is no getting over grief but it allows us to reflect on what matters most in our lives. It changes us and changes how we view life experiences. Giving yourself a source of meaning, a motivation to get up and get out into the world each day can help you cope with grief.
You are not in control of your grief but you do have control in how you face your suffering. You can choose to channel your pain into something meaningful and to ride the wave knowing it will eventually calm. You can choose to take care of yourself, your body, and your mental health. You can be kind to yourself.
If you are struggling with feelings of grief and your mental health, consider seeing the help of a licensed counselor. They can help you learn techniques to regain solid ground.
Ready to begin counseling in PA?
The professionally trained and licensed counselors at Rooted & Rising Therapy in Bridgeville have openings. Our practice specializes in treating individuals through years of experience, we’re confident that no problem is too great to overcome. Through therapy, there is always a way to address the issues you face and learn coping strategies to help you both right now and in the future. Just call our office at (412) 228-8489 or email us at email@example.com to get started to feeling better today. We are here for you.