Everyone knows the saying that goes something like, “grief is like the ocean, coming in waves, ebbing and flowing.” That is all well and great until you are in the middle of the ocean in that ship wreckage called grief… and you’re drowning. When we go through a difficult time in our lives, it can feel near impossible to keep our head above water.
Grief is something that everyone inevitably will have to come face to face with at some point in their life. We do not have to let grief define us, however, and instead can learn to take this obstacle in life and grow from it. You can’t rush the natural cycle of grief, no matter how hard you try. Everyone’s journey will look different and unique, and there is no clear time frame. Are you drowning in grief? A few signs you may be drowning in grief include:
Intense longing and yearning for the person who passed
Difficulty accepting the death or in denial about it
Difficulty trusting others and forming new relationships
Experience in persistent depression or sadness
Preoccupied with thoughts or memories
Feel guilty or responsible for the death
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. If you too are struggling to keep treading water in those rough waves, take a look at a few tips we have put together to help you stay afloat in this ocean called grief.
Feel Your Emotions
The healthiest way to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally during grief is to actively FEEL our emotions. When you’re “in your feels” feel them! Have that long cry in the shower if you need to, scream into your pillow, maybe even crack a few inappropriate jokes if you need to (cue lovers of dead dad jokes and memes). Enjoy the days that bring you joy guilt-free, you do not always have to be sad!
Accept Grief as a Season of Life
We must look at grief as a season, grief will come, and over time, grief will go. It is important not to rush this season however, and while it may feel like the longest season of your life (kind of like these cold winters here in NY) it will be worth it in the end. Exist in the moment and accept where you are, where you were before, and where you are going. You will be surprised by how much progress you will see when you take this time to reflect, even when the days feel like weeks.
Talk About What it is You’re Grieving
Know that you are not alone in your grief journey, countless others are struggling daily. Find a friend, a family member, even a therapist (what’s up Pleasantville Wellness Group??) to confide in and reflect with. Not to toot our own horn (but we will a little bit) but Pleasantville Wellness Group offers group therapy sessions great for connecting with others in similar struggles. Talking with others in like-situations is one of the best ways to cope with grief, reach out for more information!
Try Adding New Habits to Your Daily Routine
Whether it’s creating new habits or picking up a new hobby completely, a change to your daily schedule can help you cope with grief greatly. New habits to incorporate could be as simple as meditating or journaling first thing in the morning. Exercise is another key factor in your mental health, releasing endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in your brain. Having something to look forward to each day that makes you feel good is all it takes to take a step in the right direction to improving your grief journey.
Never forget that your grief journey is unique and one-of-a-kind. Grief is ugly, and you cannot rush beauty. In time, the waters will settle, the sun will shine its light, and the beauty that is healing will come your way. Don’t let yourself drown in the ocean called grief, keep treading and reaching for help, we’re here to rescue you.
Reach Out to a Therapist Trained in Grief Counseling
If you’re drowning in grief and want to talk, the counselors at Pleasantville Wellness Group are here for you. To learn more about or to book a consultation visit their website here.