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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

How To Cope With Grief

How To Cope With Grief

Loss is something everyone has to deal with throughout life. Whether it’s getting fired, going through a divorce, or having someone you love pass away, losing something that meant a lot to you is an unpleasant experience.

Paolo Reyna
Jan 09, 2022

Table of Contents

Loss is something everyone has to deal with throughout life. Whether it’s getting fired, going through a divorce, or having someone you love pass away, losing something that meant a lot to you is an unpleasant experience. Although some people feel sad for a while and work through it, others have difficulty dealing with the grief. While there’s no timeline or single way to process loss, remaining in that headspace can have significant consequences.

What Is Grief?

What does grief mean? Grief is your body’s natural response to loss. It’s a bevy of emotions at once that can cause an indescribable sense of pain and despair. Grieving can also cause issues with your appetite and sleep, impacting your physical health and lifestyle. Grief is different for everyone but commonly occurs in stages that take time to process.

Getting Through The Process

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for coping with grief. There’s also no set day or time when a person learns to accept the loss. Luckily, you can learn how to cope with time, patience, and healthy coping solutions. Continue reading to learn how to manage grief.

Allow Yourself To Feel

The pain derived from grief can be so overwhelming at times that you’d rather not deal with it at all. So, your mind tries to create a shield, better known as denial. You downplay your feelings and sometimes try to carry on as if nothing happened. Although it may provide temporary relief, ultimately, your emotions can fester and cause adverse medical and mental health problems.

There’s nothing wrong with the pain you’re experiencing. Allow yourself time to sit in those emotions. Whether you have to cry in the shower, scream into a pillow, or vent to someone you know, the emotional release is therapeutic.

Practice Self-Care

Grief has a way of impacting every aspect of your life. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. Some people become so consumed by grief that they stop taking care of themselves. As lack of self-care can result in other life-altering issues, it’s essential to prioritize your needs.

No matter how you’re feeling, ensure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep. Self-care is also knowing when to take a break, spend some time alone, and do something that brings you peace.

Look On The Bright Side

It may feel like there are no positives when experiencing loss, but there is a silver lining. Consider the lessons you learned from a bad breakup or the skills you learned while on the job. Although you’re not in that relationship or with the company anymore, you’ve acquired knowledge that you can take onto other experiences.

If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, thinking about the good memories you have with them is soothing. If they passed away due to a health problem, you might find comfort in knowing they’re no longer suffering. Focusing on the positives (no matter how small they are) evokes positive emotions and assists you throughout the healing process.

Visit A Therapist

If grief is causing you too much pain and interfering with your well-being, despite your best efforts, then talk to a therapist. Grief counselors are trained to assist people struggling to move on and heal. You can openly express what you’re going through during the sessions with no judgment. Then, the therapist will provide suggestions, alternate outcomes, and processing strategies to help you sort through your emotions and live life.

You can find a therapist by contacting your insurance provider, receiving a referral from the doctor, or doing an internet search. Opt for someone with years of experience in grief counseling and a positive rapport with clients. Keep an open mind and work the process with your therapist until you’ve healed.

Losing something or someone you cared about is saddening. The pain can be physically and emotionally paralyzing. If you don’t learn how to cope with grief, it can adversely affect your quality of life. Although there’s no standard way to recover, solutions like those suggested above can make a big difference.

Paolo Reyna | Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.


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