Grief’s Compass: Finding Calm Waters Amid Life’s Storms
Grief is inevitable and is a universal experience. When we hear the word grief, it is often easy to assume we are not experiencing grief because our experience does not fit the criteria of grief we have created in our minds. However, it is essential to remember that grief and loss come in a variety of forms and intensity – the loss of a friend, a change in relationship status, the death of a loved one, loss of physical possessions, medical challenges, injuries, change in employment status, or a traumatic event to name just a handful of life’s changes we may experience. So, when we are dealing with grief, what do we do?
The Complexities of Grief
First, let us understand the complexities that encompass grief. Many of us have heard about the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What is vital to remember is that these stages are not sequential – meaning a person does not move from one to the next in an exact order. Instead, we often find ourselves moving more fluidly through them and sometimes experiencing one multiple times, or we may find that we do not experience one of the stages at all. This is okay! Experiencing grief is a deeply personal process that will be individual to you. I like to think of our experience with grief like the ocean – it comes in waves. Some days, the waves are small and bearable, whereas other days, the surf is rough, the waves are significant, and we may feel like the undertow will knock us off our feet. Grief is not something we get through, like a gym workout, appointment, or social event. Rather, we learn how to grow and live with our grief. As we live and grow, grief may take up less space in our daily lives, allowing the waves to become calm and manageable regularly.
Finding the Calm Waters
So, how do we get from the big crashing waves to the calm water? Here are a few ideas that may help when the waves of grief feel big:
- Schedule times throughout your week to do specific activities you enjoy, such as walking, crafting, reading, etc.
- Practice self-soothing exercises such as meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness to help manage the intensity.
- Connect with others who have experienced similar losses by finding a peer grief support group so you do not have to experience your grief alone.
- Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions without judgment.
Remember, it is okay to ask for help, whether it’s from friends, family, or professionals. Surround yourself with a supportive network willing to walk alongside you on your journey!
New Heights Counselors Available
At New Heights Counseling Practices, our team of experienced therapists is committed to creating a safe and non-judgmental space where you can explore your feelings and work toward healing. We understand that grief is a universal experience, and our therapists are trained to guide you through the complexities of the grieving process. With a compassionate approach, we recognize the individual nature of grief and tailor our counseling sessions to meet your unique needs. Whether you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, a significant life change, or any other form of grief, our professionals are here to assist you in finding effective strategies for coping and moving towards a path of personal growth and healing.
New Heights Counseling provides a wide range of mental health services designed to address various mental health concerns. Our team of counselors is here to assist individuals facing challenges such as anger management, trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, abuse, PTSD, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. We are committed to seeing you reach your goals.
- Coping with grief – Emotional regulation skills – Emotional Health Institute
- How your brain copes with grief, and why it takes time to heal – NPR.com
- The Stages of Grief: How to Understand Your Feelings – Healthline.com
- 6 Ways to Help Manage Your Grief!
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About the Author:
Steph holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Crown College and is currently working towards a master’s degree in Counseling. With a background in higher education, particularly in administrative work and athletics, she discovered a passion for supporting adolescents and young adults. Steph’s professional experience in higher education fueled her interest in the mental health field. As a New Heights Student Intern, she is committed to learning and gaining experience to assist individuals in healing from trauma, grief, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.