- Give yourself permission to feel your emotions. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad, or judge your feelings, or tell you how to feel.
- Don’t try to suppress/push down inside your grief, hide it, or minimize it. Let yourself acknowledge your pain.
- Express your feelings to others (eg therapist, church, friends, spouse, family, grief support group etc)
- Avoid negative behavior that can harm your health (eg. abusing alcohol or drugs)
- Get out in nature/outdoors every day even if it is just for a little bit. This will help ground you and give you an outlet of frustrations. This could be walking your dog, sitting on your porch, gardening, sitting at the beach or at a park, running etc.
- You will experience grief bursts or grief attacks. These are normal.
- Try to plan ahead for grief triggers (eg holidays, birthdays, song reminders etc). Ask for extra support from families and friends when needed.
- See a therapist experienced in grief/loss or trauma to help you through.
- If your symptoms are interfering with sleeping, eating, nauseau, or you are having anxiety attacks–you do not have to suffer. See your primary care doctor for temporary medication to relieve these short term symptoms.
- Most people in grief, struggle with anxiety increasing at night and before bed. This anxiety causes falling asleep to be a challenge. Also, staying asleep is difficult.
- If you find yourself “sick to your stomach” try sipping on gingerale (my favorite brand is Canada Dry) and nibbling on saltine crackers to settle your stomach.
Remember everyone experiences grief differently. It is as individual as a snowflake. However, the stages of grief are the same for everyone.