Dealing With Bereavement
Dealing with bereavement is a challenging process, and one which everyone has to face in their life at some point. At Bannocks we have a lot of experience in this area, as when our customers come to us, they are typically coping with a family death and looking for advice on how to handle this type of emotional trauma.
While each person is an individual and will respond to the loss of a loved one in different ways, we have used our expert knowledge to come up with a few tips for dealing with bereavement, which we hope will be useful if you are in this position at the moment.
Keep busy with activities you enjoy
This piece of advice for dealing with loss is tried and tested, yet continues to help people find their way through tough times and come out the other side intact.
Occupying your mind by doing something you love can give you a brief but important period of respite from your feelings of grief.
Whether you enjoy riding a bike, going to the cinema, playing videogames, doing crosswords or knitting, any kind of activity which engages you and keeps you busy will be a powerful tool for coping with a family death.
Get out of the house and explore new surroundings
When you lose a relative or friend, you may be tempted to stay cooped up at home, or remain cloistered in familiar environments. This can leave you to dwell on the facts you cannot change, and make you feel powerless.
Getting out and about will help to break this cycle, allowing you to clear your head and remember that there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.
Even if you simply decide to take a different route to work in the morning, or book a mini break in a part of the country you’ve never visited before, a change of scenery can catalyse the shift in perspective you need to start feeling a bit more normal again
Seek for support of family and friends
When times get tough, your family and friends will be there to support you. This is especially true when you are dealing with a loss, as they will understand what you are going through and likely share the same emotions as you.
It’s important not to shut yourself off from the people you know and love, as by reaching out to them for support you’ll be able to help one another through the process of bereavement.
Talk about your feelings
A common response to grief and loss is to clam up, keep your feelings to yourself and attempt to deny that your emotions exist at all. This is generally a bad idea and will only make you feel more isolated, as well as leaving a lot of issues unresolved.
Talking about your feelings is the best way to deal with them, whether you rely on someone close to you to provide a friendly ear, or seek professional support from a qualified therapist.
What’s important is that you open yourself up and communicate with others. They won’t know how to help you if you don’t tell them what impact a death in the family has had on your mental health and wellbeing.
Maintain your original routine
Just as keeping your mind occupied is a good way of dealing with bereavement, it can be useful to stick to the daily routine you would be following under normal circumstances. This will help to restore a sense of order and purpose in your life, which is important in the aftermath of loss when you can be left feeling vulnerable and robbed of control over events.
Getting up, going to work, having lunch with colleagues, watching box sets in the evening and going to the gym as usual will not make grief go away altogether. But as you get back into your routine, it will sting a little less and make it easier to cope.
Eat healthily and take enough sleep
If your brain is in turmoil, you might neglect the everyday needs of your body, which can leave you feeling even worse when coping with grief. Lots of people who are dealing with loss will end up skipping meals, staying up late and struggling to sleep through the night.
The best solution is to make sure that you not only eat regular meals, but also choose foods that are healthy and wholesome. The convenience of fast food might seem attractive, but if you suddenly start assaulting your body with fatty, sugary substances that have little nutritional value, you’ll only create more disruption. Instead eat as healthily as possible; even the process of following a recipe at home can have a calming influence on your psyche, as well as giving your body the sustenance it needs.
When it comes to getting enough sleep, this can be more of a challenge. Following the other tips we’ve mentioned, such as talking about how you feel and seeking support from your friends and family, should ease some of the mental strain you are feeling. In turn this will make it easier to get to sleep.
Most of all you need to listen to what your body is telling you, be mindful about how you eat and take rest when you feel tired. Don’t burn the candle at both ends, or feel guilty about being fatigued by the grieving process.
Allow yourself to feel sad & express yourself
Just as you should not bottle up your emotions, it is important not to pretend that you are coping with grief effectively. Allowing yourself to feel sad, and recognising that your emotions are valid, natural and healthy in their way, is the best approach.
Expressing yourself is equally vital. This isn’t just about talking to people about your emotions and what you are going through, but learning to recognise how this is all influenced by the situations you face.
If you are asking “how can I cope with bereavement?” it is important to remember that there is no single answer. It is a complicated, difficult process, and one which takes time to resolve. As long as you reach out for help when you need it and take things one day at a time, you will be on the right path.