Healthy Ways to Cope with Grief

Coping with the death of a loved one is challenging and emotionally overwhelming. You may experience a wide range of emotions including shock, anger, guilt, and extreme sadness. Grief can also have effects on your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat or even concentrate.

Everyone’s grief is different and personal to them; there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

However, there are healthy ways to cope with your grief that can help ease your sadness and come to terms with your loss to help you move on with your life over time.

Understand that grief is normal. Feeling intense sadness, pain, disbelief, anger and guilt are to be expected after the loss of a loved one. Not only crying, but other reactions such as numbness, physical exhaustion, and yearning for the person you lost is normal.

Allow yourself to mourn. Mourning is the public expression of grief. It is how you share your grief with those who are also grieving the loss or who want to support you. Religion, culture and personal belief can play apart in how people mourn. Mourning is critical in helping lessen the pain of grief and find a way forward after loss.

Take care of you! Remember grief can manifest itself physically too through disrupted sleep. loss of appetite, lack of interest in everyday tasks, and problems concentrating. Consider connecting with others for meals or to take a walk can get you out and moving. If health issues persist, a trip to your doctor is a good idea.

Don’t make major decisions. Grief has a way of clouding decision making abilities. Whenever possible, postpone making major decisions: taking a new job, moving to a new city, or making significant financial decisions. If you must make such decisions, reach out to a family member or trusted friend for input.

Get support from others. Although it is normal to feel all alone and want to withdraw from the world, the support of family, friends, and/or a spiritual leader can help you move past the severe initial stages of grief.

Professional grief counseling may also help you find healthy ways to cope with your grief and ease the pain of loss. Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (formerly Lower Cape Fear Hospice) offers several counseling options for adults and children coping with grief including individualized counseling, grief support groups, workshops, healing art therapies, Family Days, and children’s camps.

Our grief support programs are open to anyone in the community, whether or not they were served by Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. Thanks to the generous gifts of our donors, grief support can begin free of charge.

To schedule an appointment with a counselor or find out more about our grief support programs, call 910-796-7991. Our expert counselors are here to help you heal and move on with life.