Cooperative Living April 2024 - 7

HAPPY & HEALTHY
Managing
Grief
Caring for yourself during
the grieving process
by Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski, Contributing Columnist
he loss of a loved one, a pet or even
a significant relationship, can derail
our lives to a point where we forget
to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, the
CREATE RITUALS AND MEMORIES
Commemorating the deceased's life can be a meaningful
way to find solace. This could involve holding a memorial
service, planting a tree in their honor, creating a memory box,
or participating in meaningful activities to the deceased.
FIND MEANING AND PURPOSE
In the midst of grief, it's natural to question the
meaning and purpose of life. Engaging in activities that
bring meaning and purpose can help individuals find solace
and navigate the existential questions that arise during the
grieving process. This could involve volunteering, pursuing
creative outlets, or connecting with spiritual or religious
practices that provide comfort and guidance.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT
SEEK SOCIAL SUPPORT
Plenty of research supports the idea that human
connection is vital to longevity. Sharing thoughts and feelings
with others who empathize with your experience can provide
comfort and validation. Try to avoid isolating yourself.
PRACTICE SELF-CARE
Grieving can be physically and emotionally exhausting.
Engage in activities that nourish your body, mind and spirit,
such as exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness meditation and
adequate rest. Prioritizing self-care helps replenish energy
reserves and fosters resilience in the face of grief.
PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION
Grieving is not a linear process. You may feel healed for
a few days, then a thought or milestone might trigger your
memory and you may feel sad again. Know there is no right
or wrong way to grieve. Allow yourself the time and space
to mourn the loss uniquely. If you struggle to do this for
yourself, try imagining yourself as the small child you once
were. What would you say to them? What words of comfort
or support would you offer?
co-opliving.com
In cases where grief becomes overwhelming or begins
to significantly impact your daily activities, seeking
professional help is essential. Grief counseling or therapy
can provide individuals with tools, support and coping
strategies to navigate through the complexities of grief
and rebuild their lives.
Although it may not seem like it, grief is actually a
good thing. Healthy grieving helps us move through
difficult times and learn more about ourselves. By embracing
emotions, seeking support, practicing self-care and finding
meaning amidst grief, individuals can gradually navigate
through the healing process and honor the memory of
their loved ones. Remember, while grief may never fully
disappear, it can soften over time, allowing space for healing,
growth and renewal.
*
Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski is a certified nutrition counselor,
weightlifting coach, life coach and stress-management specialist.
All health-related content and media provided by Cooperative Living or its website(s) is
created and published for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional
medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek
the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you
may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
April 2024 * Cooperative Living * 5
T
pain is so great we seemingly would do anything to escape it.
Failing to properly process our emotions, however,
often leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as
overeating, alcohol consumption or checking out entirely.
Moreover, failing to acknowledge the pain can often lead
to a manifestation of physical symptoms such as joint pain,
fatigue or migraines. Coping with loss requires patience,
self-compassion and support from others.
The following are some effective strategies to help
individuals manage grief and navigate the journey toward
healing:
ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT EMOTIONS
Avoid suppressing or denying your feelings. Permit
yourself to feel through the pain so it doesn't continue to pop
up in other ways. Remember, our feelings are integral to our
human experience.
Coping with loss
requires patience,
self-compassion
and support from
others.
PHOTO COURTESY MARCELA VIA FLICKR COMMONS
http://www.co-opliving.com

Cooperative Living April 2024

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