As you are grieving the loss of your loved one, life can seem overwhelming. From moment to moment your emotions change while you are mourning. One minute you are smiling and the next you are crying. Because everything seems much harder after a death, it is important to acknowledge your small successes as you grieve:
- Getting out of bed in the morning to take a shower
- Returning to work after bereavement leave
- Eating at the dinner table without your loved one
- Going to lunch with a friend
- Returning a phone call or acknowledging an expression of sympathy
Try this Affirmation: I acknowledge all of my accomplishments.
Grief Relief – Set Yourself Up for Success
What is hard for you? What do you hate to do? As you identify these tasks, think about how to make them easier. Here are some examples of problem solving:
- I never did grocery shopping in the past, and I don’t like to go now.
(Can I plan shorter trips to the store? Go to a different store? Order items online? Go with a friend?)
- I don’t like getting out of bed in the morning.
- (Can I give myself something to look forward too? Plan a visit with a child or grandchild?)
- I don’t like Sundays because they are too long now.
(Can I break up the day with an activity? Go to an upbeat movie? Go to lunch? Go to a park?)
- I don’t like going to church without my loved one.
(Would going to a different service make a difference? Can I go with a friend? Maybe I should not go for now?)
- My husband always pumped the gas.
(Can a family member teach me? Can I go to a full-service station? Can a neighbor help?)
If you can’t think of any ideas to address some of your immediate problems, enlist a supportive person to help you problem solve.
Notice Progress While Grieving
People have been figuring out how to grieve for centuries, long before the mental health community began. You are already doing everything right, just as people before you have. Losing someone is painful. It is probably the worst thing you will ever go through in your life, but you are getting through one day at a time.
Let’s think about the progress you’ve made:
- What coping skills have you already developed?
- What new things have you been doing?
- What new roles or identities have you taken on?
- What new relationships have you developed?
- What are your strengths?
- What are you doing well?
The questions above all refer to restoration-oriented tasks, which you develop as you learn to integrate the loss of your loved one into your life. As you reflect on these questions, you may be surprised by how far you have come already.Read More...