3 Steps To Dealing With Grief
Grief. It’s one emotion that’s rarely spoken about in the context of the pandemic – but many of us feel it. We’ve seen our lives veer drastically from the path we’d planned for ourselves - whether we’ve lost jobs, lost opportunities, lost love, lost human connections… even losing a sense of self. Grief is inevitable, and it sits alongside the fear and anger that have dominated headlines.
At the end of 2020, there was a definite sense of ‘thank goodness that year’s over’. But a pandemic (actually, any life crisis) doesn’t respect the clock. So here we are, mid way through 2021, all more knowledgeable but equally more life weary. And if we’re in Victoria, experiencing another lockdown, the fallout is tangible.
So, what are some ways to deal with grief?
A close psychologist friend says grief is an emotional reflection of significant loss.
Grief signals an acknowledgement that something has ended. The life we knew, the job we loved, the friendships we’d forged… So what we’re experiencing is a sense of change, and with that, uncertainty.
BUT… an ending also means a beginning. Beyond Blue says “Through the process of grief, however, you begin to create new experiences and habits that work around your loss.”
The process of job hunting can also generate grief. Our Project Displaced specialist volunteer Michael Bartura has previously shared his insights into defeating negative thinking – it’s a powerful viewpoint and a reminder that mindset can be adjusted.
Remember that grief is a part of life, and it’s normal to feel it. But if it’s getting hard to manage, here are 3 things you can do.
1. Firstly, seek help.
You’re looking for a shoulder, an ear, comfort, time to talk about your loss, or help to deal with the change and understand what comes next. Sometimes a friend can help you through this – but sometimes it requires the help of a specialist who can help you move through it.
Specialists can help you navigate any life issue and provide you with steps to move forward. We offer Mental Health First Aid, a free 60-minute phone service provided by a Lifeline consultant, to help you manage your current situation and offer suggestions for longer term solutions. Sessions are limited but you can book.
For immediate help, organisations like Beyond Blue, Sane Australia, and Lifeline offer 24/7 support.
2. Get outdoors
This article from ‘Ask the scientists’ talks about the benefit of nature for wellbeing, stress reduction, and immunity building.
3. Maintain connection with others
This step isn’t necessarily about seeking support – but simply sharing an experience, playing a board game, going for walks, watching a film together (even remotely) or video game – things that involve a relationship.
Science acknowledges the benefit of human connection – in research, animals starved of contact lose interest. Not only is it sparking connection but it generally involves cognitive and emotional motion – thinking and moving outside your mind.
And of course, remember that the volunteers at Project Displaced are here to help and support you. They're specialists in their fields - from recruitment to mindset coaching to career coaching - and will give you support and insights that will get you on the front foot. They'll listen, guide, and help you find your way.