Losing someone you care about is life changing. It can cause deep sorrow and significantly affect how you feel, act, and think. These reactions are a natural response to loss called grief. Grieving is a highly individual experience and people have unique ways of expressing their emotions. You may feel sad, alone, angry, or even numb—all these feelings are normal. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are healthy ways of coping.
It is important to be kind to yourself as you navigate through feelings of loss and grief. Here are some helpful strategies to help you cope with grief.
- Take care of yourself. Try to stay physically active, get enough sleep, and eat healthy foods. Avoid habits that can put your health at risk, like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or smoking.
- Try not to make any major changes right away. It is good to wait for a while before making big decisions, like moving or changing jobs.
- Connect with caring friends. Draw friends and loved ones close and let them know if you need to talk. Spend time together and accept the assistance that is offered by others.
- Join a grief support group. It might help to talk with others who are also grieving. Check with your local hospitals, religious communities, and employer assistance programs to find a group in your area.
- Talk to your doctor. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble with everyday activities, like getting dressed, sleeping, fixing meals, or being socially active.
- Be patient with yourself. Mourning takes time. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Accept that you need to grieve in ways that feel natural to you. Don’t judge or criticize yourself for not coping as well as you or others think you should.
For more helpful information and resources about coping with grief, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Grief and Loss webpage.
Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Support
If you need additional support with grief, contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP provides free and confidential counseling and information to help you cope this holiday season. EAP support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information or for help in contacting your EAP, write to your DHS Work-Life specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.