Reeling from Grief or Loss? Five Coping Strategies
There have been few breaks from grief and loss as the pandemic grinds on. Many have lost a family member, friend, colleague or community acquaintance. Others have mourned the loss of predictable routines and normal interactions with loved ones. Students grieve extra activities that make school or college fun while still others miss feeling safe and a sense of control.
“There is no correct way to grieve or a specific timeline for when you are supposed to ‘get over it,’” said Amber Olson, LCSW, director of Behavioral Therapy Services with Memorial Behavioral Health. “These emotions of grief and loss can seemingly fade only to return again, sometimes with an intensity that surprises us. Having coping strategies can help people survive what can feel impossible at times.”
Consider the following:
- Avoid isolation. Turn to the people you trust who know you the best for support. Be open about your feelings.
- Ask for help. People often want to pitch in but have no idea what to do in the face of great loss. Be willing to ask for specific help – a shared meal, help with errands or chores or just a listening ear.
- Look after your physical health. Don’t binge on ice cream or indulge in too much to drink. Go for walks, eat balanced meals and prioritize quality sleep. Physical well-being affects emotional well-being.
- Rediscover a fun activity that brings you joy. Everyone defines “fun” differently but having fun allows us to be in the moment, release feel-good hormones and connect with our silly side.
- Talk with a therapist or grief counselor. If you are unable to find relief, and your grief turns into depression or interferes with daily activities, find a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling.
Memorial Behavioral Health (MBH) has credentialed grief clinicians who provide telehealth and phone counseling appointments. Call 217-525-1064 to schedule an appointment. In addition, MBH offers an emotional support hotline, available at 217-588-5509, to provide support to individuals experiencing anxiety or stress, even if they are not MBH patients.