How to get over loss and grief

Difficult times

Difficult times affect everyone, regardless of the stage their life is at. But how do you bounce back?

How do you bounce back from difficult times?

First, you need to give yourself time to heal. There is no generic rule as to how long this process will take. But when you feel like you want things to go back to sort of normal, that’s when you know you are ready.

Then, and only then can you take the necessary steps towards recovery. These can include meditation, positive thinking, support from friends and family, and even therapy. Sometimes you need to change the path you are on in order to cope with your loss (and that loss can be anything or anyone).

Am I feeling the right thing?

The first stage is grief and mourning of what you lost. You might feel lost yourself, unable to move on. Some of us feel guilty, angry, upset, hurt. And that’s okay. It’s okay to feel all those emotions. Many people will expect you to feel a certain way, or to simple ‘get your act together’. They will expect you to be okay after a certain period of time, too.

But guess what? That’s not okay. They shouldn’t be telling you how to feel and when. Why? Because they aren’t walking in your shoes. Grief is different for everyone, and you can grieve everything from the loss of a job to the loss of a loved one. You can feel grief when a major change enters your life, too.

Whatever you are feeling right now is natural. Don’t let others dictate your thoughts and feelings, because they are your own. Let them all out. Cry if you need to. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of having been strong for way too long. Emotions are supposed to be felt in order for them to be processed and in order for you to move on.

When should I move on?

When you feel like you are ready. You might ask at this stage, what happens if you never feel like you are ready? Or you might feel like you want to move on, but you lack the motivation to do so. What is the ‘allowed’ time to grieve, and when should you move on from whatever difficulty you are facing?

The answer still lies within yourself. Your soul knows how much time it needs to heal. Even if you don’t realize that you are ready to face the future, your soul will send you subtle signs. You might find yourself sniffing a flower for the first time in years, or listen to the birds’ song outside, closing your eyes in enjoyment.

When you start noticing all the blessings around you, that’s when you are ready to take the next step towards a new you. You might still resist the change, because grief does that to you. It wraps you in a comfortable blanket, hiding you away from more pain. But that blanket is also suffocating you after some time.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for you to get back up once life has knocked you down. But you do need to get back up eventually.

How can I move on?

Let’s be honest here. Your life might never be the same after the loss you suffered. You might need to find a new career path entirely, or you might have lost a loved one and you will never get time to spend with them.

But the idea of moving on doesn’t mean that we forget. It simply means that we learn to live with the pain, and slowly fill our souls up with positive emotions. The idea is to start focusing on the good things, instead of the bad. It takes time and lots of outside help, but the most important thing is this: you need to be ready and you need to be willing.

  1. Talk or write about how you feel. The good and the bad. If you are angry, anxious, sad, hurt or indifferent, tell someone. This could be your diary, a friend, a therapist, but even your dog. The main thing is to let it all out. Once it’s out in the open, you will look at it in a different way.
  2. Find others who went through something similar. Talking to people who have similar feelings can help you voice your fears, worries and emotions, especially when it’s the hardest. You might even learn how they got through it and get some pointers.
  3. Pick up a new hobby – Trying new things can help shift our focus and make us realize that life goes on, no matter what happened or how upset we are. Try to remember your childhood. Did you always want to become an astronaut? Why not try origami rockets?
  4. Treat yourself – We know that this is the last thing you want to do right now. But if you make it an incentive, it could work. Try to set a daily goal for yourself, and if you achieve that goal, give yourself a reward. This could be anything from a cup of your favourite coffee to a walk in the park. Try to remember what made your soul sing before.
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