5 Coping Skills for Dealing With the Death of a Loved One

Are you trying to make your way through the death of a loved one? When a loved one dies, it can be devastating, and the feelings can be very powerful. It’s a very difficult process to deal with the loss a loved one. Luckily, there are things you can do that can help you cope.

Use these tips to help you get through this terrible time: 

  1. Allow a grieving period. Give yourself time to cry and remember your loved one. This can be as short as 15 minutes a day or longer if needed. Allowing yourself time to mourn will help you come to terms with your loss.
  • Create a memory book. Creating a memory book is another useful way to enhance the healing process. You can put pictures of your loved one, memorable papers, small items that remind you of good times together, or cards they sent you in a special photo album or scrapbook.
  • Put your memory book together at a time when you are relaxed and not rushed with other obligations.

  • Look at it when you need to but avoid becoming obsessed with it. Put it away from time to time so you don’t spend all your time clinging to your memory book.
  • Remove large pictures of your loved one from the main living areas of the home. Having a large picture right in the living area will make it more difficult to carry on with the daily necessities. You can place the picture in a room that is separate from the main living space so that you can still look at it when you want to.
  • Visit a spiritual contact according to your faith. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with feelings of loss, a visit with your spiritual contact will be beneficial. They will allow you to feel that you’re not alone in your struggles.
  • You can also reach out to a grief counselor. Grief counselors are experienced in helping people in your situation to cope with their loss. They can work with you individually to find methods that work best for you.
  • Talk with friends. Friends are like angels that can help you to get through your loss. They listen rather than judge. Pick up the phone and call an old friend to talk or schedule a visit.
  • You can also use social sites like Facebook to reconnect with friends that have moved or you’ve lost touch with. They will understand that you just need a few moments to talk.

Coping with the loss of the loved one is a difficult process, but using these tips will help you to work through your grief and move forward. Let yourself heal by taking the time you need with your grief, but keep in mind that you’ll need to move on eventually.

In time, it will become easier for you to think about your loved one without experiencing the painful feelings that are so overwhelming at the time of their death.

Do You Think in Absolutes? Reap the Benefits of the Gray Areas

It’s tempting to see the world in black and white, but there are drawbacks to ignoring the gray areas. If you’ve ever been stuck in the habit of absolute thinking, there are ways to recover.

Do you sometimes notice that when you forget to pick up the dry cleaning, you figure it’s because you’re distracted by deadlines at work? Then, when your neighbor neglects to return the ladder they borrowed, you decide they’re an inconsiderate person.

Evolution conditions us to take shortcuts to defend ourselves quickly from threats. Unfortunately, that also means we may overlook important facts and jump to the wrong conclusions. Try these strategies for keeping your “all or nothing” thinking in check.

Reasons to Recover from Absolute Thinking

  1. To expand your experiences. Absolutism is limiting. It makes you avoid the people and events that you consider problematic. Tackle those irregular French verbs instead of telling yourself that you’re no good at foreign languages.

  2. To ease your anxieties. You reduce your fears every time you face them. Your confidence will soar as you master simple plumbing jobs or learn to speak more assertively to your coworkers.

  3. To strengthen your relationships. Having a balanced view of your loved ones helps you to appreciate them for who they are. We all have strengths and weaknesses. More realistic thinking also helps you to support each other’s personal growth.

  4. To promote harmony. Absolutes are polarizing. A more understanding and forgiving attitude will help you get along better with others.

  5. To manage uncertainty. Absolute thinking is often driven by the need for security. When you accept that many details in life are beyond your control, you’ll be able to relax and become more resilient.

  6. To enjoy more happiness. The best thing about flexible thinking is that it generates more joy and peace. You’ll be more aware of the beauty around you and have more faith in your abilities.

Strategies to Help You Recover from Absolute Thinking

  1. Question your assumptions. Examine your mental shortcuts. It’s probably okay to avoid shellfish if it always makes you sick. On the other hand, you may want to practice asking for a raise instead of assuming that your boss will reject you.

  2. Develop greater empathy. Increasing our compassion is a powerful antidote to absolutism. Be more gentle with yourself and others. Allow for errors and focus on solutions rather than holding grudges.

  3. Spot exaggerations. If you feel like every sore throat means you have the flu, consider more common explanations. If you think that nothing will ever live up to your last vacation destination, remember the mosquitos. Avoiding exaggerations helps you live more in reality.

  4. Change your vocabulary. Our words influence our emotions. Avoid using absolute words such as “always” and “never.” Speak more precisely when you catch yourself saying that it always rains on weekends or your kids never clean their rooms.

  5. Vary your routine. Shake things up by changing your routine. Prove to yourself that you can handle working different hours or eating more whole grains.

  6. Accommodate others. Take sensible risks. Go along with other’s suggestions instead of insisting on having things your own way. Use a different route for driving to the beach or be open to someone else’s recommendation for the next selection for your book club. You’ll soon start to notice more options and alternatives throughout your daily life.

  7. Review your past. Looking back at your past makes it easier to see the flaws in absolute thinking. Notice how your beliefs have changed over the years. Chances are you’ve pretty much forgotten about someone you once had a serious crush on.

The comfort of clinging to absolutes comes at a high price. Adjust your way of thinking to see the world more clearly and lead a fuller life.

How to Vent

photo of man touching his head
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

 Completely Different Approach to Venting

If you believe that screaming and punching a pillow will make you feel less angry, think again. Studies show that venting unpleasant emotions can reinforce those feelings. On the other hand, like Sigmund Freud said, bottling them up is usually even worse.

So, what can you do with your anger and anxiety? Try these tips for processing and expressing difficult feelings.

Preventing Unpleasant Feelings

  1. Take a deep breath. Tension builds up quickly. When another driver cuts you off, pause and pay attention to your breathing. Loosen up your shoulders and neck. Think about something that makes you laugh.

  2. Accept discomfort. Distracted drivers and earthquakes are part of life. Plan for delays and obstacles so they stop taking you by surprise.

  3. Care for yourself. Healthy lifestyle habits make you more resilient. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Maintain a consistent bedtime that allows for adequate sleep.

  4. Shift your attention. Stop feeding the flames. Catch yourself when you’re dwelling on last night’s argument with your teenage daughter or next month’s water bill. Lighten up by watching YouTube videos or meeting a friend for coffee.

Viewing Unpleasant Feelings Differently

  1. Question your assumptions. It’s difficult to resist blowing off steam if you still believe it will provide relief. Check in with yourself a half-hour later to see if your anger is gone. Read studies about how road rage can affect your heart.

  2. Set priorities. It’s worth fighting injustice if your child is being bullied at school. If another shopper wants to count four cans of cat food as one item, it makes more sense to be flexible.

  3. Assume responsibility. Indignation is less tempting when you face how you contributed to the situation. Did you criticize your daughter about her grades when you meant to discuss cleaning up her bedroom?

  4. Focus on solutions. Unpleasant feelings can be beneficial when they prompt you to take action. Acknowledge your anger, and then concentrate on fixing the situation.

Responding to Unpleasant Feelings Differently

  1. Seek validation. Talk with a friend or family member about your concerns. Receiving compassion and support will help you to cheer up and put things in perspective.

  2. Ask for feedback. Confidantes who have nothing at stake in the situation may also help you to clarify your perceptions and understand your options. Talk about how to deal with neighbors who throw noisy parties or keep borrowing your parking spot.

  3. Negotiate conflicts. When possible, approach the other party in a dispute directly. Work out compromises so you and your neighbors can be friends.

  4. Consider counseling. If you’re angry or upset more often than usual, there may be underlying causes that you need to explore. Therapy provides a safe forum for healing and developing new life skills.

  5. Write it out. Maybe a journal would help. Keep track of what is triggering your irritation or sadness. Are you working too much overtime or struggling with single parenting?

  6. Stay offline. You’ve probably read stories about employees who lost their jobs because they thought it was safe to complain about customers or their boss online. Even if you remain anonymous, prolonged griping is likely to leave you feeling more disgruntled.

  7. Create new patterns. The good news is that each time you decide to pursue constructive remedies instead of whining, you train yourself to become more calm and resourceful. Soon you’ll have little desire to vent.

It may feel gratifying to have a meltdown over your property taxes or snap back at a disruptive coworker, but indulging those impulses comes at a high price. Protect your physical health, relationships, and peace of mind by dealing with unpleasant emotions constructively.

You have the Power to heal your Shame

You Have the Power to Heal Your Shame

Shame is a complex human emotion that we all experience at one time or another. You might feel shame because of something about your appearance, events related to your family, or even a lack of education. You might feel you’re not worthy somehow. Shame shows itself in many forms.

Even if you struggle greatly with managing your shame, trust in the knowledge that you can heal it.

Consider the following methods to strengthen your emotional health and soothe your spirit:

  1. Identify shame’s presence. Because we tend to try to cover up that which embarrasses or demeans us, you’ll probably need to do some personal confrontation of your own emotions.

  2. Are there particular people in whose presence you feel embarrassed? If so, why?

  3. Perhaps when you’re in a specific type of situation, you notice that you tend to close down emotionally or feel numb.

  4. Begin to take note of when your emotions are either stirred up or flat (which means you feel nothing at all).

  5. Recognize you’re “only as sick as your secrets.” In the counseling profession, there is a saying: “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” This adage means that the things about ourselves that we keep to ourselves are the exact issues that we need to acknowledge and do something about.

  6. Consider discussing your shame with someone you trust. Because shame can be a tough emotion to handle, it’s helpful to have someone you can talk to about it. Whether it’s a close friend, your partner, or a professional, it will free you to put words on those feelings.

  7. The more you talk about it, the better you’ll be able to gain some understanding about what triggers your feelings of shame. Not only that, but also talking about your shame de-mystifies it and makes it something real that you can resolve.

  8. A mental health or counseling professional is trained to facilitate people in identifying their troubling issues and learning to understand and manage challenging feelings. If you believe you could benefit from this type of assistance, by all means, avail yourself of it.

  9. Be brave. It requires courageto share your insecurities with another person. Your bravery reveals your passion, strength, and optimism.

  10. Learn to love yourself. No matter what your shortcomings, you deserve to experience the uplifting feelings you can get from self-love. Even though you think you have a lot of spiritual “blemishes,” you must allow yourself to see your real beauty within.

  11. Connect with your spiritual power. Whether it’s your religion, an interest in Eastern philosophy, or a strong belief in Mother Earth, establish a connection with whatever spiritual power you believe in.
  • When you have a spiritual power you can lean on, you’ll likely find solace and the strength to face and resolve your personal shame.

  • Have confidence that you’ll overcome. At some point in life, we all have our difficulties to deal with, our challenges to manage. Reach deep within yourself and you’ll find the confidence to persevere.
  • Remember that you’ve resolved challenges before and know that you can conquer this one, too.

Shame is a normal human emotion that we’ve all felt. If you’re willing to do the work, you can resolve the hurt and shame you feel inside. Use the methods outlined above to move forward toward a happier, more rewarding life. You do have the power to heal your shame.

Hey, my FREE Pilot mini-course is out. Be the first one to Sign UP!

7 Proven Ways to Identify, Avoid and Overcome Triggers.

silhouette photography of birds in flight and perched on electricity line
Photo by Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong on Pexels.com

We all have people, places and situations that trigger us emotionally in negative ways. Learn how to recognize your triggers and take proven steps to overcome them and reach emotional health.

Sign UP for FREE below!