Life After Loss
Imagining life after the death of a loved one is incredibly painful and challenging. At first, it may even be unimaginable; however, life after loss exists and is achievable.
It’s typical not to feel like taking part in your favorite hobbies, not caring as much about your health, or feeling like all of life’s joy is gone forever in the early parts of grief. Some people may overcome these struggles with time, while others may need a more proactive approach to regain a connection with life after loss. You may be wondering where do I even start?
How To Start Living Again After A Loss
Consider what a typical day for you currently looks like. How many hours are you spending doing nothing vs. doing too much? What sort of activities are you participating in, and are these uplifting or emotionally draining for you? Essentially how are you filling up your time? How often are you doing things to take care of yourself, cope with your grief, bring joy into your life? Think about what sort of things you enjoyed doing before your loss that you’ve maybe stopped doing and could reincorporate back into your days.
Develop a Plan to Participate In Life After A Loss
Once you have taken the time to reflect on how you’re spending your time, it’s essential to take this information and plan for the next steps.
If you realize that you no longer participate in an activity that used to be a critical part of your life, then it might be time to get involved again. I realize that some activities may no longer be fun because they require energy you feel you do not have, or they remind you of your lost loved one.
Participating in life after loss can force us to confront difficult emotions; however, as we do this, we begin to overcome fears and anxieties that hold us back from things that we may find enjoyable and worthwhile again.
I encourage you to incorporate new and positive activities into your schedule to reconnect you with life. You could create ways to honor and remember your loved one. You could focus on achieving mental or physical health goals that you put on the back burner. Trying a hobby that you’ve always thought of doing but never got around to is another good example. If you feel that you’re having a tough time overcoming your grief or need professional support, it may be helpful to include grief counseling in your new schedule.
Re-engage With Life After A Loss
Now that you have made a mindful decision to reconnect with life and you’ve thought of ways you can so do, it’s time to implement them. By implement, I mean take the time to ensure you can fit activities into your daily or weekly schedule, even if this means blocking an hour each day.
Once you have made the time, you’ll begin actively participating in your chosen hobby or activity; this may be the most challenging part.
I have a personal and professional understanding of how hard it is to take the first steps in getting back to living after a loss. However, we must hold ourselves accountable for our health, happiness, and well-being, even if that means pushing ourselves until we can reap the joy of taking part in something meaningful.
An essential part of coping with grief is learning to tolerate and work through painful emotions. After a loss, you’ll likely experience many emotions by re-engaging in life, but please believe it will be worthwhile.
To begin receiving professional support for your grief, you may contact Mindsight Behavioral Group to schedule with one of our caring counselors with immediate openings. There IS hope and healing in mental health treatment for grief.
Jessica Carroll is a clinician at Mindsight. She absolutely loves her Toy Poodle, Little Red who she has been a proud fur mama to for 13 years now. In her free time, she likes to spend quality time with loved ones, explore nature and its natural beauties, try new foods, and check out local shops. She can often be found outside, sipping on coffee while taking in the fresh air, watching and listening to birds, and enjoying the small things life has to offer.
Check out her professional bio here.