Steps for Dealing with a Personal Loss

Grieving woman in black

A personal loss can be so hard to deal with and can hit some much more severely than it does others. For those of you who are trying to come to terms with your grief, here are a few steps that you can take.

Understand the Grieving Process
While the grieving process is hugely individual, there are five general stages that people tend to experience. These are denial, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. However, not everybody goes through all of these five stages, and the grieving process can take different amounts of time for different people, sometimes just weeks but sometimes years.

Establish a Support Network
Although you may not particularly feel like speaking to anyone, it is so important that you reach out to others and establish a support network for yourself. Withdrawing from the world is all-too-common, but this is only going to be extremely detrimental in the long run, so try to speak to others who have been through similar experiences, as they will be able to share a valuable perspective with you.

Woman hugging her crying friend

Professional Help
If your grief or anger really starts to overtake you and feels like it is all getting too much to bear, then this is a sign that you may need to turn to a professional for help. An experienced therapist will be able to help you to work through any intense emotions that you may be feeling, which will enable you to overcome any obstacles or blocks that are holding you back.

Express Your Feelings
Whether it may be a piece of art or writing in a journal, expressing yourself in a creative way will always be helpful when dealing with a personal loss. This is especially useful when your emotions are really threatening to bubble over, as you will have an outlet into which you can channel this energy, turning it into something productive.

Exercise
Exercising when you are feeling so down may be the last thing that you want to do, but exercise focuses your mind on the task at hand, while also releasing serotonin and other beneficial hormones into your brain. Whether you go to the gym, take the dog for a walk, or sign up for some lessons to learn a new sport, this will also be a great time for you to do some self-reflection, which can really help you to move past any painful memories.

Woman tired from exercising

Don’t Try to Numb the Pain
It can be tempting to turn to mind-altering substances when you are dealing with a personal loss, as these can often numb the pain that you are feeling. However, not only will this make it much harder for you to deal with the loss in the long run, but it can also lead to an addiction, as you will end up turning to this substance whenever you begin to feel down.

A personal loss, as well as the grieving process that accompanies it, can be caused by a wide range of things. Whether it be the death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, or a divorce or breakup, make sure that you take the necessary steps to help you to deal with your loss, as this is what will help you to really move on.