How to cope when you’re experiencing grief

I had an intense wave of emotion hit me while driving home from the supermarket a couple of weeks ago. It hit hard.

Lockdown meant my experience was very different to what I could usually expect.

I felt overwhelmed and like I couldn’t breathe before the tears started falling…

Then I realised that I recognised this emotion. It was a feeling of grief, though not like I’d experienced it before. 

A grieving that I was feeling for myself and the collective.

Grieving the life that we thought we were going to have and the world as we know it. 

Defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary grief is “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement”. It describes the many reactions we have to the experience of loss.

While change was always a constant in our lives there were so many things where we knew what to expect. A familiarity that has gone.

We are riding through waves of grief while trying to deal with our current reality. This is a feeling that will come and go during your lifetime linked to different events.

6 tips when you’re experiencing grief:

  1. Be gentle with yourself – you’re a human being not a superhero!
  1. Breathe – taking deep breaths helps me in my moments of overwhelm and distress. Meditations that focus on the breath could be worth exploring too. Is this a practice that was in your life before and it has dropped away?
  1. Prioritise self care – there are so many ways to make sure you are taking care of yourself such as eating nutritious food and ensuring you’re getting a good amount of sleep (if not a good quantity aim for good quality).
  1. Create a safe space for you to express yourself – trying to push the feelings down can cause more distress.
  1. Write things down – a pretty journal or a scrap of paper works when you need to get things off your mind. Some might be tasks you’d like to come back to later, or words you wish were said. Then decide if the words are worth, keeping, recycling or burning (in a safe way) and releasing.
  1. Ask for help – there will be people around you who love you and want to support you. Try being specific in how they can be there, such as listening to you without offering advice.

In a world where things will continue to change, know that you have control over your attitude and your actions.

I am honoured to host Women’s Circles and create sacred space for sharing. We practice deep listening and are developing a community of like-minded women. Get in touch if you are interested to know more.

Do you have any tips to share?

Sarah
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