Take your time to recover from a sadness. Recover at your own pace, in your own way.
We all have times when we feel unhappy, and we all cope with it in different ways. Do what works for you. Image source: freedigitalphotos.net
We have all felt heartbroken at one time or another. Whatever the reason for the heartbreak, it's so important to allow yourself to grieve in your own way in your own time. Ignore the comments such as get back on the horse, go back to work, keep busy, it was for the best, plenty more fish in the sea, move on etc.
People can say what they like, but no one knows you quite like you do. Do what you need to do at the time. Do what you need to do to cope.
I have been so low that I began to wonder if I would ever feel better. One of the most important things I have learnt from this, is that in the case of any type of heartache everyone grieves differently:
- Some withdraw
- Others keep as busy as possible
- Some stay in bed and cry
- Others hide their pain completely
- Some throw themselves into their work life
- Others get angry at the world
- Some want loved ones to be there for support
- Some want to be alone
There isn't any right way or wrong way to grieve. It's simply your way, whatever is right for you. Telling people how to feel, when they should be moving on and that their sadness is bringing others down is the last thing that someone grieving wants to hear. Such comments may be given with the best intentions, yet can actually cause more harm than good.
Comments like these can make the already upset person begin to question their own feelings such as:
- Maybe I am a sook, and I should be over it by now?
- I'm a loser, I can't even grieve properly.
- Should I hide my feelings and pretend I am ok?
- People are getting sick of me being sad. If I don't cheer up maybe I will lose them?
- People are laughing at me; they think I am stupid and that they know all the answers.
- Others would be over it by now, but why aren't I?
So what can we do to help:
- Don't guess, ask the person what you can do to help them. By asking you will be helping them with exactly what they really do need. Your idea of what would be helpful might be different to theirs.
- Take them food and/or groceries. Often when very upset we either under eat or over eat. Many will be tempted by junk foods that they find comforting; foods like chocolate, chips and lollies. Bring them some fresh fruit, a meal they can heat up easily and some bread and milk. If they wish to be alone, tell them you will leave it at their front door.
- Listen without judgement, without telling them what they should do or how to fix it. Ask open ended questions like: how did that make you feel, what happened next, what thoughts did you have, what happened next, and what's your next step?
- Be with them if they want you to. You might have to change your plans to help this person. For example take them out, visit them, go shopping together, take them to appointments, watch TV and movies with them. Hold them and care for them.
- If they need it give them space. Let them know you are there if they need anything, but that you will let them contact you when they are ready. Respect this and encourage others to do the same.
-Perhaps offer to contact work and other places about a time of absence for the person.
Here's some ideas on what you can do if you are grieving:
- Find out what soothes you. Try music, sports, relaxation, swimming, meditation and reading. What music do you like? Would a walk in a nice park help,? Perhaps soaking in a warm bath?
- Take some time out from your normal routines. Try to get some time off work. Have others mind your children. Go on a holiday. Stay with some friends. Stay in bed watching movies if you need to. Do what works for you. Do what you need to do to cope.
- Decideif you need some help from family and friends, or if you wish to be alone. Be respectful of their feelings. Tell them you appreciate them, and explain nicely that you really feel that you need some time alone.
- Make yourself comfortable. Make sure you have comfy clothes, fresh food, tea/coffee, bread, milk, DVD's, music, blankets and tissues. Forget about how you look, and focus on feeling better.
- Sleep: try to do this whenever you need to. Sleep helps to pass the time; it helps us to recharge and often to even see things more clearly. Unhappiness can make us feel more tired than usual, so listen to your body.