Chapter 7
  1. Your Emotions and Your Health

183. Managing Grief

Many people associate grief with the death of a loved one. But grief can also follow in the wake of job loss, a debilitating illness or injury, or divorce. And grief is a normal and natural emotion characterized by feelings that ebb and flow. One day you may feel that grief is behind you, only to find that the pain returns the next.

Grief usually consists of five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. It takes some people longer than others to accept a loss and recover, so grief shouldn’t be ignored or rushed. The following can help overcome grief.

  1. Don’t hide your emotions or feel embarrassed about grief.

  2. Turn to supportive friends and family members for help and understanding.

  3. Cope with anger over your loss by writing in a journal, pursuing a physical activity, or otherwise venting your feelings in a constructive way.

  4. Don’t overeat or use alcohol and drugs in response to grief.

  5. Be sure to eat a well-planned, nutritious diet and get enough rest and exercise to boost your resistance to disease during your period of despair.

  6. Avoid spending birthdays, holidays, or other momentous occasions alone.

  7. Put off major decisions or changes until your grief has passed, since your judgment will be cloudy at this time.

  8. Expect temporary setbacks. The path for working through loss is neither straight nor smooth.

  9. If you feel overwhelmed and unable to function, seek professional counseling.