Coping with Loss

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I need help with my thoughts and emotions

Experiencing a loss, whether it is sudden and unexpected or whether you were aware that it was going to happen or whether you had expected it to happen and it didn’t for some time and then occurred, you can expect that many different types of thoughts and feelings will come up for you. Some of these thoughts and emotions may feel confusing and not make any sense. The thoughts and feelings you are experiencing may be very different to what you had expected to think or feel. Even if aspects of them are very similar to what you had prepared yourself for, there may be some which are unexpected.

If your loss was completely unexpected and because everyone experiences loss differently, you may experience a range of thoughts and emotions which are intense, may feel overwhelming and may feel unfamiliar. Maintaining a routine is very important. Eating regularly and healthily, engaging in an activity you have enjoyed in the past, going to bed at your usual time, remaining connected to supportive friends and family all have a positive effect on what you are experiencing. It is very tempting to use legal and illicit substances (including alcohol) to cover over the emotions and thoughts you may be experiencing at this time. 

Maintaining the above routines will assist and ensure that you can limit your alcohol or illicit drug use, and knowing that these thoughts and feelings will pass may also assist during this time. Whatever stage you are in the grief process, whether it has just occurred or whether an event or particular date or time has resulted in some of these thoughts and emotions re-emerging, you can contact GriefLine on 1300 845 745 and one of our trained and skilled volunteer counsellors can speak with you. 

I feel shocked and numb

It is a very natural human reaction for many people to feel shocked and numbed following a loss. It is important to know these feelings will pass with time. Often when experiencing a loss, it is easy to not look after yourself or to focus on how everyone else is managing during this difficult time. The EAST approach may assist you during this time:
 
Eating: ensure you eat regularly and healthily, increase your water intake during the day and limit alcohol and other illicit drugs.

Activities: restart activities, which you enjoyed prior to this loss, including some type of exercise.

Sleeping: ensure that you go to bed at the same time, which you would have done prior to this loss and avoid eating high sugar foods or a large meal or consuming any alcohol or other illicit drugs, at least two hours prior to sleep.

Time: spend time with trusted friends and family or reach out to a counselling and/or helpline service to work with you on your experience of loss. 

You can contact GriefLine on 1300 845 745 and speak with one of our skilled counsellors. 

I feel like there is a hole in my life at times – how do I change that?

When a person is experiencing a loss, it is usually associated with significant change. Change may bring many unexpected feelings and thoughts and changes in routine, relationships and in structures. During this time, trying and ensure a routine which worked for you prior to this change and prior to the loss. Try the EAST approach (see below), which may assist you doing this time of significant change:

Eating: ensure you eat regularly and healthily, increase your water intake during the day and limit alcohol and other illicit drugs.

Activities: restart activities, which you enjoyed prior to this loss, including some type of exercise.

Sleeping: ensure that you go to bed at the same time, which you would have done prior to this loss and avoid eating high sugar foods or a large meal or consuming any alcohol or other illicit drugs, at least two hours prior to sleep.

Time: spend time with trusted friends and family or reach out to a counselling and/or helpline service to work with you on your experience of loss. 

You can contact GriefLine on 1300 845 745 and speak with one of our skilled counsellors.

I feel empty at times – what helps with that?

When a person experiences a loss, it can seem as if everything is out of rhythm and can feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Because loss also involves change, it may be that many of the structures, relationships and/or connections have shifted in your life or are no longer present. Feelings of emptiness are very common and natural at a time of change and loss. These feelings and thoughts will pass and many people find that re-engaging with the things which bought them meaning and enjoyment in the past can be helpful in re-connecting with a part of themselves, which feels happy, relaxed and content. Some people find the EAST approach useful. See below: 

Eating: ensure you eat regularly and healthily, increase your water intake during the day and limit alcohol and other illicit drugs.

Activities: restart activities, which you enjoyed prior to this loss, including some type of exercise.

Sleeping: ensure that you go to bed at the same time, which you would have done prior to this loss and avoid eating high sugar foods or a large meal or consuming any alcohol or other illicit drugs, at least two hours prior to sleep.

Time: spend time with trusted friends and family or reach out to a counselling and/or helpline service to work with you on your experience of loss. 

Feel free to contact GriefLine on 1300 845 745 and speak with one of our skilled counsellors about your experiences.