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Grief and coping with loss

"Grief is the price we pay for love”- Queen Elizabeth II

Grief is described as the feeling of overwhelming pain and sadness that comes after a loss of

someone or something that you had deep connection with. It is accompanied by many intense

and difficult emotions such as anxiety, fear, shock, guilt, regret, numbness and anger that can

knock you off your feet.

Grief is not limited to bereavement by death of a loved one. A relationship breakup, divorce,

losing or changing jobs, or moving away from home can also lead to grief. It takes a toll on

physical wellbeing also by causing loss or increase in appetite, headaches, heart palpitations,

changes in sleep patterns, upset stomach, lower immunity etc.

Grieving is a slow, complicated and highly individual experience. There are no fixed timelines for this process but it usually takes six months to two years and the symptoms reduce gradually.

However, given that grief has its own trajectory, the memories and connection of the loss often

get integrated into one’s life and identity.

Coping with grief

The shock and sadness from grief might cause one to withdraw from people or activities they

enjoyed doing earlier and cause depressive symptoms. It thus becomes critical to work through

grief with healthy coping ways.

Acknowledge and accept your emotions: Grieving needs time and patience. Allow yourself to

express your feelings in your own ways. It could be creating a memory album, journaling,

writing or talking about your loss to loved ones.

Practice self-care: Grieving takes a toll on the mind and body making self-care essential.

Self-care includes exercising, eating regular and nutritious food, adequate sleep and rest.

Seeking support: It helps to connect with friends and family for a shoulder to cry on or express

your complicated emotions or to be physically around to avoid loneliness during grief.

Speak to a grief counselor or therapist: Given the complexity and layers of emotions that

come with loss, grief could weigh heavily in the course of your daily life and routine activities.

Professional help can help you accept and process these difficult emotions.

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