10 Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Grief Recovery Guide

Asma Rehman, LPC

A grief recovery process is different for every person. There are no cure-alls or one-size-fits-all type of programs to help you through a painful grieving process. For some, it can take years before they can get a handle on their as grief recovery may be difficult, but it is not impossible. It is about learning how to cope with your grief rather than suppressing it or hoping that it fades away. Here are 10 ways to cope with grief with the loss of a loved one.

1. Acknowledge Your Grief

When you are in the early stages of grief, it is hard to acknowledge the emotions and pain you are feeling as grief. It takes a conscious and intentional decision to grasp your loss. You will need to give yourself the permission to feel your loss and deal with your emotions and thoughts about the death of a loved one. Giving grief a place to be expressed through whatever means you feel the most comfortable is a significant step in your grief recovery process.

2. Understand What Your Unique Grief Process Looks Like

Every person has their own unique way of grieving, even if they are within the same family. It is critical to understand that no one else will have the same exact grief recovery process as you. As such, your physical, emotional, spiritual, social, behavioral, and mental reactions to grief is not a predictable process. It is important to note to never allow others to tell you how you should be feeling or acting after the loss of a loved one.

Read: 5 Grief Recovery Ways to Be There for Someone in Grief Over the Holidays


3. Set Goals for Your Grief Process

It is essential to set goals for your grieving process once you have intentionally identified it and accepted it as something you will have to face. You may have goals to learn techniques to accept and let go of the emotions surrounding the death or to feel less isolated. Whatever they may be, be wary of your feelings and do what makes you feel safe.

4. Accept Support through Your Grief Process

There will be a time where you may want to be left alone, but accepting help and emotional support is a very healthy way to process your grief. All well-intended family members and friends want to help you in some way. However, most have no idea how to help you when they reach out. Do not isolate yourself and be accepting of the assistance. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or someone to help you make a meal, let others know how they can be there for you.

5. Be Realistic In Your Expectations through Your Grief Process

Make sure you have a realistic perspective and expectation about your grief recovery process. It may take you longer and may be much more difficult than you anticipated, so be open to this journey with a proper outlook on what is representative of your grief. There is no correct way to deal with your loss, just recognize that there will come a day when your pain and sorrow will transform through your grief recovery process.

6. Care for Yourself through the Grief Process

Looking after yourself is vital in the grief recovery process. As tempting as it may be, do not let others’ needs minimize your grief recovery. Your physical health can determine how you cope emotionally, and mentally. So, stay hydrated, eat proper meals, and exercise as you used to, and try to keep a consistent and regular sleep schedule. Lastly, stay off any drugs or alcohol that you may feel can numb your pain. Substances are artificial substitutes for dealing with your grief. Hiding behind them can give you temporary relief, but it is a very unhealthy grief recovery process in the long run.

7. Stay Active during the Grief Process

Be open to creating new habits and trying new activities. Whether that is creating memory books or journaling; stay active and be creative in your grieving process so you can tangibly express your feelings. Create rituals and build memories to commemorate the life of your loved one to actively process your loss healthily.

8. Do What You Love

During your grief recovery process, you may not want to do anything that can remind you of your loved one. However, maintaining your hobbies and interests is very important in bringing you comfort to help you come to terms with your loss. A part of the grieving process is about gaining hope and finding joy again in your life. Life is too short to not do what you love and getting back to the activities that made you happy.

9. Cherish Memories during Your Grief Process

It may be painful to revisit memories of your loved one, but a healthy way to process your grief is to cherish beautiful memories you had with them. Instead of lamenting the death of your loved one, celebrate their legacy and be grateful for the wonderful memories you had. You had an opportunity to learn and experience life with them, and it will be an honor to them to pass on those memories.

10. Seeking Professional Help for Your Grief Process

The pain with the loss of a loved one may sometimes be so overbearing that professional assistance should be requested. The grief recovery process can be worked through with an experienced grief counselor who can teach you how to overcome obstacles in your grieving. They can refer you to support groups or help you work through intense emotions with one-on-one sessions.

If you are feeling out of control or trauma from the loss of your loved one, the best way to cope is to seek the help of a mental health professional who can assess your situation without any judgments. Treatment can help you get better. No one can truly understand or fathom the experience of your loss, but you can still come out stronger on the other end with the help of the Grief Recovery Center in Houston, TX you can contact us for more info or to schedule an appointment today.

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