Don’t sweep feelings of grief under the rug


January 19, 2016

Tap into these coping strategies and resources during your grieving process.

We all grieve for different reasons and in different ways. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one to cancer or a beloved pet has passed away. We grieve over the loss of other things, too. A breakup, a soured friendship, a layoff from work or a move can bring on intense feelings and knowing how to manage grief is important for dealing with these emotions. We’ve unpacked the reasons why the grieving process is important and compiled a list of support resources.


There are no rules to the grieving process.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve and no prescribed timeframe for how long it should take. Grief affects us all differently, and because of that, we can often feel alone when we experience a loss. New information says that we don’t actually move through five progressive stages, but that grief is rather a multitude of symptoms that switch on and off until, finally, they dissipate over time.


Allow yourself to grieve.

One of the most important steps in the grieving process is to give yourself permission to feel as you do. Working through feelings in your own way helps you move forward when you are ready.

“The mind and body are connected, and we grieve because we love,” says Julie R. Price, Psy.D., an integrative health psychologist at Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. “It might seem less painful to avoid those feelings. However, when one’s body does not get the opportunity to grieve or get the release it needs, the body holds on to those emotions. Eventually they do come out and can manifest via headaches, body aches and pains, uncontrollable crying, mood changes, etc.”


Employ coping strategies.

Grief can be overwhelming, but continue to take care of your physical health as much as possible by getting sleep, eating healthy and exercising when you are ready. Avoid making major life changes right away if possible. Give yourself time to cope with your loss first. Talk to friends and family or consider a grief support group or therapist. Most of all, be patient with yourself and the grieving process.


Manage your grief with these resources: