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“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose, there are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
The Five States of Grief
Grief is your body’s response to loss. According to Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the five phases of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. It can take a long time to reach the acceptance stage. Here are a few steps to move beyond you beyond your overwhelming grief so that you can better care for your health and well-being, courtesy of Dr. Thomas Maples.
1. Improve Your Surroundings
Grief affects your emotional well-being. One way to boost your mood is by improving your surroundings, and one of the best ways to do that is by countering your depression with bright light.
For some, this could be as easy as pulling back the curtains and allowing daylight into the home. You could also make it a priority to spend time outside each day basking in sun rays. If you live in a frequently overcast region, a light therapy box for your home can be a safe and cost-effective way to uplift your mood when you’re sad. It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with beauty, whether freshening up your walls with pictures or adding a sustainably-stylish pillow sham to your bedroom.
2. Express Your Feelings
You must take significant steps as you move through the grieving process. Keeping those painful feelings inside can only lead to prolonged emotional anguish. Let yourself feel and express your pain by working with a therapist who can help you overcome challenges. Other steps include:
- Joining a support group
- Writing in a journal
- Letting yourself cry
3. Fight Grief – Move More
Practicing self-care during a time of bereavement may feel like a selfish act. However, moving your body helps you move past your emotional pain. Exercise releases endorphins that relieve stress and improve your mental state during challenging moments. If you don’t have the time or energy for a daily workout routine, you can make minor adjustments to your lifestyle that allow you to move more. For example, you can park in the farthest row from the entrance, so you must take a few more steps each day.
4. Start a Nonprofit
One way to continue the healing process is by starting a nonprofit organization in honor of your loved one. Starting an NPO can give you a sense of purpose and help you connect with people who have been through similar experiences. Additionally, working on a project in honor of your loved one can help you remember the good times you shared and focus on their positive impact on your life.
5. Follow Your Dreams and Start a Business
Do you wake up each day wondering how you got where you are? In processing your grief, you may be confronting yourself with your mortality and wishing you had done more of what you wanted during your time on Earth. One way to move forward is by starting your own business. Write a business plan, giving special attention to how you structure your business.
6. Find a Less Stressful Job
Changing to a less stressful job can seem overwhelming, but if you feel your current job is too taxing, it’s essential for your mental and physical health. Start by assessing what causes your stress in your current position so you can identify similar jobs without the same stressors.
Put together some documents to serve as resources on your new job search. You may want to try the PDF tool to help. You can use it to annotate the documents you gather with important notes and reminders to help you with your job search.
Moving on after a loss doesn’t mean you lose your love for the one you lost. You deserve to feel whole again and live a healthy, fulfilling life. Take steps to overcome your grief by letting more light into your home, expressing yourself, exercising more often, starting a business or nonprofit, and finding a new career.