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7 Tips for Coping With Grief

1. Acknowledge the presence of grief

You aren’t bad or good for experiencing grief. It’s simply important to acknowledge that grief is something you feel and experience. On some days, it may feel more present than on other days. There is no time limit for grief.

2. Normalize

Understand your grief process is unique to you. What used to be “abnormal” prior to the presence of grief may be considered “normal” now.

3. Be kind to yourself

Grief is exhausting and it influences our physiology more than we know. While we are grieving, it's not helpful to have the same level of expectations for ourselves that we had prior to grieving.

4. Plan for events

Whether it is an anniversary, birthday or holiday, set a plan for what you would like the day to look like. Plan a day that is meaningful to you.

5. Find ways to express your grief

Expressing grief is a crucial part of moving forward. Expression may come through journaling, joining a support group, painting or another process that is meaningful to you. Holding in grief can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

6. Create a routine

When we lose a loved one, we lose more than the person; we lose all the roles they were associated with — our church-going partner, our tax person, the person who hangs our Christmas lights. Acknowledging the secondary losses and creating a new routine can help you move forward in the grief process.

7. Share your grief

The journey of grief isn’t one to walk alone. The more support you have, the healthier and easier your grief process will be.

Featured in: January/February 2024