Are you stuck with grief or currently going through the grieving process? Taking each day one step at a time is a powerful and practical mantra when you are dealing with loss or bereavement. Think of it like narrowing the beam of a spotlight: it reminds you to just focus on what you need to deal with right now. This, in turn, helps to minimise the feeling of being overwhelmed and also gives you direction during a very directionless time.
The focus on now also helps you maintain motion, which is essential for working through the process. It helps you avoid unhelpful thought loops about what was or what will be that can so easily keep you stuck. Here are my tips on how to move forward when you’re stuck with grief.
When You Are Stuck With Grief Put One Foot In front Of The Other
When you get stuck it’s debilitating and exhausting. Life cannot continue normally, and the impact on you and those around you can be significant. Be gentle with yourself but also firm. Take one day at a time and you will emerge from your grief as surely as night follows day. Don’t overthink anything, and don’t berate yourself if you don’t feel better in a few weeks; but at the same time, don’t allow yourself to wallow in the loss for years.
The person you have lost would not want you to stop living. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and a brighter day will arrive. You will always miss that person, and there will always be moments that remind you of them and retrigger your grief, but the day will come when you can manage that sadness and still look forward to life instead of constantly looking back.
Keep Talking If You Feel Stuck With Sorrow
Share memories, experiences and how you feel with close family and friends. This is why we have a wake. It allows people to come together and remember the person, share stories and experience more than just sadness at the loss.
Sharing in this way also helps us to reconnect to happy times, which can help the healing process. For your sanity and peace of mind, try to limit your sharing with people outside your close circle. They won’t necessarily understand your experience and it may just end up feeling uncomfortable.
Find A (Healthy) Way To Express Your Grief
Consider starting a journal and writing down how you feel each day. Express yourself fully in the pages and allow it to become a cathartic, self-healing process. Another option is to sing or paint how you feel. The key is to express yourself in whatever way helps you to come to terms with your loss and move forward with your own life.
Don’t Rush The Grieving Process
Shock and disbelief can cause your brain to short-circuit for a while. This is normal. Don’t rush it, or force yourself to pull yourself together. You feel what you feel, so just allow yourself to feel that emotion.
Being active can be good, but not at the expense of your health and wellbeing. If you have a lot of decisions to make (especially if they aren’t urgent) then don’t rush them. Whilst amid grief, you aren’t thinking with a clear head. Instead, take the time to breathe and think about the best solution. That way you’re a lot less likely to regret your decision.
Practice Gratitude When You Feel Stuck With Grief
As much as you are going through one of the most difficult times in your life, you have to find reasons to live for. At the very least – you need to do this for your wellbeing if not for the benefit of those around you. Include something from the person you lost if you want to, or just from life itself. This is a great way of regaining perspective and coming to appreciate that you still have lots to live for. This is a great technique for all of us to use, regardless of our circumstances.
Consider Grief Counselling
If you are struggling and can’t seem to move forward, you may want to consider grief counselling. There are some wonderful bereavement counselling groups and therapists that could help you. While nothing can bring the person back, grief counsellors can help you find a way through this most difficult time. It’s something that many shy away from, when in fact talking is what you need most. So, I encourage you to at least research the idea especially if you are struggling.
I hope you have found the above tips on how to move forward when you’re stuck with grief helpful. For more guidance on coping, consider reading my latest book, Your Life Your Way.