Healing after losing a loved one can be a complicated journey. While it’s normal to struggle with feelings of sadness, anger, and even guilt, it can still feel like you’ll never be “okay” again. However, moving forward is possible. Here are some steps you can take to overcome the hopelessness that grief can cause, while prioritizing your own behavioral health.
Practice Self Forgiveness
Following the loss of a loved one, you might try to put a timeline on the grieving process. However, grief and healing aren’t linear. You can’t expect yourself to move forward and never look back. Remind yourself that your emotions are valid. And while you will never completely move on from loss, your grief will no longer be all-encompassing. Life will start to feel bright and fulfilling again.
Seek Professional Support
The grieving process can feel isolating, but you don’t have to cope alone. Consider seeking out mental health and counseling services to work through this process. A therapist will provide a comforting and confidential environment to talk through your emotions. They can also offer everyday tools to help you cope, express your feelings, and prioritize your own well being. Your counselor will become a source of stability when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
How to Handle Loss of a Loved One
Consider Group Counseling
Individual therapy is an excellent option for grieving individuals, and some people will benefit from group counseling as well. Through group counseling, you can connect, empathize, and grow with others who share your experience. Group therapy techniques will help you work through your grief in an engaging way. This counseling experience can be a source of both healing and joy.
Reach Out to Friends
In the weeks following a loss, you were likely surrounded by friends and family. However, you might start to feel lonely after this initial period. But remember that your closest friends and family members want to support you in the months and years after loss as well. Building a small support circle can be central to your healing. Walks with a friend, group dinners, or even calm nights on the couch can lift your spirit and remind you that moving forward is possible.
It can be challenging to move forward without setting healthy boundaries. This is because pushing yourself to return to normal life too quickly or confront your grief in uncomfortable ways will only deplete your resources. Establishing boundaries can involve telling a friend when you don’t want to talk about your loss and declining invitations when you don’t have the energy, for example. These boundaries will provide the space you need to work through your emotions, practice self care, and do activities you enjoy.
Celebrate Your Loved One
When you lose a loved one, celebrating their life can often feel too painful. Birthdays, holidays, and other special dates might be the hardest days in terms of grief. However, celebrating your loved one on these occasions can provide closure and healing. Consider starting a tradition with your loved ones to honor your lost loved one’s memory and share stories. You may eventually find joy in these moments.
Loss is a painful and deeply personal experience. The counselors at SOL Mental Health are available to support you through your grieving journey at mental and behavioral health clinics. With multiple locations across Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Texas, our team of professionals are proud to provide holistic counseling and coaching services for your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Does My Insurance Cover a Therapist at SOL Mental Health?
SOL Mental Health is partnered with several insurance providers to make our services more accessible to you. You can verify your insurance through our website before scheduling an appointment.