How to Overcome Grief – Complete Action Plan

Loss is an inevitable end of every human relationship, ambition or life. There is no human being who has never endured the suffering of loss, or the pain of separation. As natural is loss to human lives, so is grief. It happens to one and all, and the first part about overcoming grief is acknowledging its presence. Trying to battle your demons is good, but denying that you’re grieving isn’t helpful. In psychiatry, there are five stages of grief that have been recognized.

The first comes denial where you think you didn’t deserve this, the second comes anger when you realize you’re no longer in control of the situation, the third is bargaining with a bigger power where you promise something else in return for this, and it is followed by the fourth and penultimate stage, which is, depression. It leaves you incapable and unwilling to do anything else, and the last and fifth stage of grief is acceptance where you let the ghosts of the past rest in peace.

Every individual has to go through these five stages to arrive at the last juncture of acceptance. It is impossible for you to overcome grief immediately. But, overcoming grief can be grueling to your psyche and daily living. You might find it really hard to function or sleep. Here is a complete action plan that would help you overcome grief: 

1. Patience with self is the key

You’ve to give yourself adequate time to accept and overcome the loss you’ve suffered. There is no deadline as to when you’d wake up again, feeling fresh as a daisy, in control. You have to understand healing and coping isn’t a linear action. Some days, you’d have overcome it, and then the next day, you would feel you’re back in the rock bottom. Relapses are natural, but you’ve to fight it zealously and steadily. 

2. Survive one day at a time

After you’ve suffered a loss, it is only natural to feel disinterested in doing anything. Depression renders you incapable and unwilling to take part in things you would otherwise enjoy. Doing simple things like everyday chores become a challenging task. If you try to imagine the future, things start appearing bleak and you end up feeling more lost. Overcoming grief is a process where you survive one day at a time, and in the end, you pat yourself in the back and tell yourself you got through another day. You tick off checkboxes of doing the right things and getting back into a normal lifestyle, every single day, until you no longer have to do it, and you can focus on the bigger picture

3. Connect with others

After experiencing a loss, being isolated with your own self can only traumatize you more. It is important to find friends who would help you overcome your moments of weakness, and also be a source of support and comfort. If you make friends with someone who has endured a similar loss, you’ll feel less lonely and more hopeful.

4. Busy yourself with chores

It is important to not let your mind wander off to distant thoughts that cause you pain. Having an idle mind would only aggravate your sense of loss, and it would be impossible to overcome grief. Get out of bed, do normal chores, and try to make a new routine, and follow through. If you keep yourself busy, you would help yourself to move ahead in life. Even little things like decorating your room, rearranging your closet or just making a birthday card can give you a nice break. 

doing chores Overcome Grief

5. Don’t overwork yourself

It is crucial that you don’t overwork yourself when you’re trying to busy yourself. If you work too much, and do as tricks on the Internet say: “Replace your depression with exhaustion”, you would do more harm than good. You would remain stunted in your journey, and having no space to grieve in a day might repress those emotions which can have larger consequences.

6. Accept that you can’t control people or things

When you’ve a problem, and it concerns you, do what it takes to make it right. But, this only applies to matters you have direct control over. You cannot control other people, and you have to be open to the fact that you cannot change certain situations. You wish things didn’t happen a certain way, but they did, and so now all you can do is accept the nature of things, and move on. 

7. Don’t cry over spilt milk

An old adage, but it still holds truth in every age. While it is important to acknowledge the source of your grief, and its cause, don’t remain stuck. Don’t spend your days regretting your past actions, and thinking you must have done things differently. Let the past go by, learn from your mistakes, and take the gift of today and make it worthwhile.

8. Visit a therapist

Sometimes, having the best of friends is not enough. You have to visit a professional counsellor, or therapist, who would understand objectively what you’re going through, and help you get through grief, while coping in a healthy manner. If you drink down your grief, or do other substance abuse, it’ll only have long-term repercussions. 

Visit a therapist to Overcome Grief

9. Have a creative outlet

Express your grief in a creative way. Start a new project, where you like to paint, or make things. Start a journal, maintain it every day. Document your grief, and the processes it takes you through. It’ll not only work as a brilliant release, but also make you happy and productive at the end of the day.

10. Take care of yourself while you grieve

One of the major downsides of feeling grief is it makes you neglectful of your physical needs. People lose appetite, and stop eating. People lose precious hours of sleep. All these attitudes have a negative impact on your health, and with failing physical health, overcoming grief can only get difficult. Eat proper wholesome meals, work out, have proper sleep hours, and don’t let yourself fall back into a no-routine period of time, because if you do, getting out of it would only get harder later. 

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