When you experience a loss, it can feel like the world itself stops moving, or at least slows. Words can be hard to understand because they’re either too fast or too slow. We can be surprised that the sky has the audacity to be cloudless and bright blue, and soothed by a storm that mirrors what we’re feeling inside. But the truth is, the world goes on. Let’s talk about how to cope when you’re grieving.
Coping Tip #1: Orient yourself
An important factor in staying grounded when it feels like the world is moving forward without you is orienting yourself to the here and now. I often say it’s important to check in with your body, and a great way to do just that is this exercise:
Sit down and notice a place that is tight in your body.
Rub your hands together until you feel warmth between them.
Close your eyes and gently float one of your hands to rest on that tight place.
Notice, with curiosity, what happens to that place by just listening with touch. It may soften, or shift.
By making contact with your body you are communicating with it using Gentle Listening Touch. This is an aspect of the Rubenfeld Synergy Method ®. To learn where to find a Synergist to facilitate the release of trauma in your body, go here.
Coping Tip #2: Release your expectations
You are not required to slip back into the normal currents of life. There will be things you have to do, but make sure you’re being realistic around this topic. So many of us were taught to ‘man up’ and go on about our day as if nothing happened, but this isn’t staying true to what we need when we’re in Raw or Fragile grief.
If you’re unsure if you absolutely have to do something, ask yourself these questions:
- What will happen if this thing doesn’t get done? If the result is a scenario that doesn’t cause you or someone else hardship, you can cross the task, action, or commitment off of your to-do list.
- Can it wait until later? If this is a yes, set it aside. If you’re worried you’ll forget about it, write it down in a to-do list that allows you to tackle things as you have the time, energy, and space.
- Is there someone else who can handle this in your stead? More often than not, the people that you will reach out to for assistance want to help you, but they may not know how. Remember that asking for help is something you should do, and is often a gift to the person who is able to offer their services.
Once you determine what you have to do, you can focus on what you need to do for yourself in order to move from Raw and Fragile grief to wellbeing.
Coping Tip #3: Be kind to yourself
This goes hand-in-hand with releasing your expectations, but takes it a step further. Stay away from engaging in negative self-talk, such as ‘I’m lazy if I don’t do everything’ or ‘I am a terrible person for not forcing myself to go visit family’.
Being kind to yourself means speaking to yourself the same way you would a friend or a loved family member. Exercise compassion, grace, and empathy toward your own beautiful soul just as you would toward anyone else.
Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,
If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...
I want to share a free assessment with you that can help you recognize the physical, cognitive and emotional reactions you may be experiencing. You’ll also be asked about your beliefs around grief, your behavioral reactions and we’ll do a deep dive on fundamental questions that have helped so many others.
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