In life, everyone suffers some kind of downfall from time to time whether it be the passing of a friend or disappoint arising from a setback in their career. However, what defines a person is never their losses, but how they recover and learn about themselves in the process. Obviously, this is easier said and done, requiring effort and commitment to come to terms with grief and rise above it to face the brighter future, but the five steps outlined below simplify the process and provides a starting place for people who feel lost in the world.
Firstly, understand it is natural to be upset, and know that everyone, at some point in time, will go through a similar experience. However, after a few days, strive to get your life back on track by reintegrating one routine every day to gain back some control and sense of normality. For example, going grocery shopping, browsing your favorite store, and meeting up with a friend for coffee are all viable options designed to dull the impact of grief. Be open, and accept help from others. It is difficult enough to deal with pain even without having to shoulder the burden alone.
To cope during the earlier days, distractions are necessary to prevent sinking into a deep, dark hole of despair and depression. Exercising, watching television in moderation, and working on a hobby are all viable options for quelling the overwhelming desire to mope. This is not to say reminiscing about the past should be avoided at all costs, but it should be limited to only short periods of time in safety and comfort. However, if the pain does bubble to the surface unexpectedly, acknowledge it and move on without making a big fuss.
As many may already know, talking about loss is an important step on the road to recovery. It is still unacceptable to rant to your barista or post a five mile long status on Facebook, but having a chat with a few close friends can provide some relief. Closing in and detaching from the people who care is one of the most harmful actions you can take. Refusing to share with anyone is a sign of denial, which can slow down the recovery process and present barriers to future social interactions.
Although this may sound counterintuitive, do not only think of the good times. Remembering a friend’s laughter and companionship or how a supervisor once bought gourmet coffee for everyone at the office is normal and pleasant, but does nothing in the long run. To effectively deal with grief, your viewpoint needs to be at least somewhat impartial, taking into account the bad as well. Some negativity regarding your past can alleviate some of the feelings of losing something holy, allowing you to turn the rose-colored glasses towards the future instead.
Finally, believe in that you will overcome this hurdle, and find footing again in the very near future. Appreciate whatever glimpses of happiness that arise, without guilt or allowing judgment to register. It is genuinely all about perspective, with optimism always winning in the race towards recovery and living to the fullest once again. With the right attitude and an honest acknowledgment of pain with a reflective and open mind, the world will grow brighter in no time.
Though this process can be complex and difficult, the first step is always finding the courage and will to follow through with it in order to truly live once again. Grief is definitely unpleasant, but it is also a fact of life and denial of it will only aggravate the situation. Instead, take it in stride, learn from the experience, and rise up to reach the sky of happiness once again.