Coping With Grief: A Mom’s Guide to Reaching Out
As the mom in the family, chances are good you are the primary caretaker of the needs of your spouse and children—and maybe even of your own parents, in-laws, or extended family. Most likely, you take it all in stride and are quite capable of meeting the multiple needs of many. When you suffer the loss of a beloved person and experience intense emotional needs of your own, how can you reach out for the care that you deserve?
4 Steps to Coping With Grief
1. Understand Grief Reactions
One of the first steps in coping with loss is understanding the common and expected emotions that often accompany grief. You may be experiencing some or all of these normal grief reactions, for up to three years following the death. Your emotions may intensify at certain times and wane at others.
- Denial & Disbelief
- Anger (at the person for dying, at someone for not telling you sooner, at yourself for not having been able to prevent the death, at God)
- Anxiety, often felt physically (racing heart, headaches)
- Sadness & Tears
- Relief (when a loved one endures a long illness, people often experience relief that the suffering is over)
Know that grief is an important process; allowing yourself to experience it fully is critical to healing your wounded heart.
2. Rely on Others
For Moms who are accustomed to meeting the needs of so many, relying on others for that same support can be challenging. Reaching out and accepting support from family members, friends, spiritual leaders, counselors, and others who have experienced grief and loss is invaluable during periods of grief. While your first reaction may be to put on a brave face and cope with grief all on your own, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to reach out and allow others to support you in your time of grieving.
3. Practice Self-Care
Too often, moms who meticulously tend to the well-being of their loved ones neglect their own health during periods of grieving. It is all too common for grieving moms to lose sleep, skip meals, and hold in tears. Grief is a heart’s way of mending itself. To work through and resolve normal grief reactions, it is critical that moms focus on their own self-care, particularly the basics like getting enough sleep, ensuring adequate nutrition, drinking plenty of water, and even crying! Crying is a natural stress reliever and a part of being human. Moms--let your tears roll!
4. Let Yourself Laugh Again
In the thick of a grief, it may feel as though you will never find your smile again or enjoy a good belly-laugh. Know that it is okay to feel good again. Grief is an important process and not one to be denied, but there is nothing to be gained by staying stuck in it forever. Give yourself permission to continue on with your life, feel happiness, and make the most of the moments that you have.
Signe Whitson has been helping families for over ten years as a Licensed Social Worker and Master Trainer for the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute. Her blog was created to find humorous and helpful advice on how to cope with passive aggressive behavior in day to day relationships, The Passive Aggressive Diaries. My Baby Clothes has partnered with her to help better the future of our little ones. They care about their customers and listen to what they want for their babies. You will find the best selection of baby clothes, tutus, baby headbands, baby gifts and so much more at a price for everyone’s budget.
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