Thanks to COPE’s facilitator Diane McNamara, LCSW-R for this month’s Healing Tip
Riding the roller coaster of grief
The grieving process is not linear. One does not move smoothly or swiftly through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression to finally reach this holy grail place of acceptance. Instead it is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs where minute by minute your feelings, thoughts, and mood may change. So much so, you may wonder if you are going crazy. There will be times when life might almost feel “normal”. You may smile at the antics of a child, laugh with a friend, actually enjoy a meal or a song or a TV show. Do not feel guilty. You are healing.
Then there will be those “other times” when you feel totally overwhelmed by your grief. You are not alone.
I offer some tips for coping that people have shared with me over the years, and research has shown to be helpful:
- Move a muscle change a thought – anything physical will work; mop the floor, scrub the tub, exercise.
- Get out of you – call a friend that is worse off, cook a meal for an elderly neighbor, bring clothing to the homeless shelter.
- Take a shower or bath, splash your face with water, wash dishes, even looking at pictures of water are shown to have a calming effect.
- Get outdoors in nature – garden, smell the fresh air, touch the grass, walk the beach.
- Make a gratitude list – An attitude of gratitude is healing.
- Pray or meditate – Prayer is powerful in lifting the spirit.
- Cry – do not fight the feeling, honor it.
Remember no two people experience grief the same way. My hope is that with a pocket full of tools you may find some peace on your healing journey.