Surviving grief requires resilience, strength, and an understanding of effective coping strategies. In this blog post, we will explore essential strategies that can help individuals navigate the difficult path of grief and support their healing process. By implementing these strategies, we can begin to cultivate resilience and find a renewed sense of hope amidst the pain.
01. Allow Yourself to Feel
It may sound simple, but one essential strategy for surviving grief is to allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions that arise. Give yourself permission to experience sadness, anger, guilt, joy, laughter, gratitude, or any other emotions that bubbles to the surface. It is crucial to acknowledge and accept these feelings without judgment. By allowing yourself to feel, you create space for healing and emotional release.
02. Seek Support and Community
We are not meant to grieve alone. While there may be moments where being alone in grief feels like the most supportive experience, we should also be aware that grief is meant to be witnessed, held, and supported with love, compassion, and care by community.
Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups who can provide a compassionate space for you to be with the fullness of your human experience, including the depths of your grief. Sharing your thoughts, memories, and emotions with others who have experienced loss can offer validation and comfort. Professional grief counsellors or therapists can also offer specialized guidance and support during this challenging time.
03. Tend to Your Inner Village
Taking care of yourself is essential in the grieving process. It may be the last thing you feel like doing, however prioritizing self-care activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being will support and sustain you as you move through your grief. Engage in activities that bring you joy, such as movement, hobbies, or spending time in nature. Nurture yourself with nourishing foods, adequate rest, and regular self-reflection. Taking care of your own needs allows you to recalibrate and take the brave steps forward in your own time and in your own way.
04. Less is More
These days we are often flooded with messages around what we should do, how to cope, strategies and tools galore. Grief can flood our capacity as it is, so I invite you to simplify in whatever ways you can. Less is more. We don't have to overcomplicate our grieving process by adding a million things to our to-do list.
05. Lean on Ritual
If there's one thing I would encourage you to add and explore it would be ritual. Creating meaningful rituals or commemorative acts can help support both our grieving and healing. This might involve lighting a candle in memory of your loved one, writing a letter expressing your feelings or undelivered communications, visiting a special place that holds significance, creating alters, expressing grief in creative ways, or attending ceremony or grief circles. Honoring the loss in a way that feels right to you can provide a sense of comfort and allow for a healthy integration of the loss into your life.
06. Invite Slowness
Surviving grief is a gradual and ongoing process, and it is essential to be patient with yourself as you find your way through the wilderness of grief. Our world moves at such a past pace that we often end up expecting our grief to move quickly as well, but grief is a journey. There is no paved pathway, which is why I often refer to it as the wilderness - it is wild, untamed, and unknown exactly what your process will look like, and how it will unfold, so remember to move slowly. Practice self-compassion and accept that grief has no set timeline. Allow yourself the space and time needed to heal, grow, and find a new normal.
Grief work is not passive. Surviving grief is a deeply personal and transformative journey. By implementing these essential strategies - allowing yourself to feel, seeking support, practicing self-care, creating rituals, and embracing patience and presence - you can navigate the challenges of grief with resilience and hope. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and healing occurs at its own pace. Through these strategies, you can honour your loved one's memory while taking brave steps forward.
Over here in my world we aren't doing grief work the way we’ve been sold, taught, and fed throughout our lives. If you’re like me, you’re ready to do it differently. Click here to book a discovery call where we will get to know you, your grief, and invite you into the path that we think would be most supportive for where you're at (no pressure, invitational always, left in your hand to decide your next right step).
About the Author:
Hayley Yarish is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Grief Therapist, Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. She specializes in supporting individuals who are navigating loss and grief of any kind. Her own experiences with grief and loss have cracked her heart wide open and led her to doing this sacred work in the world.
Specific areas of focus: death of a loved one (recent or past), life changing transitions, relationship transitions and break ups, pregnancy loss, grief around family planning, and supporting entrepreneurs through the grief that comes with growth.
To learn more about Hayley or to book a session with her, click here.