How can we move forward with life after loss when we feel stuck in our grief? It can seem impossible some days when all we want is our “old life back” with our loved one and the thought of happier times is difficult to even imagine.
If you’re feeling “stuck” and unsure of which way to go next, here are 5 tips to consider that may help move yourself forward.
- Start with small changes. Are there any small changes to your daily routines that might make a difference in your life? Have you attended any Widowed Friends events lately either virtually or in-person? Just getting out in-person or even virtually and chatting with others can make a difference in how we are feeling and perceive the world. How about taking part in a walking group or fitness class or even just seeking out a neighbour for a chat? Each time we reach out to others we are taking a positive step forward.
- Consider volunteering. Sometimes when we focus on ourselves and our problems, it leads to a cycle of sadness and despair. When we focus on others and ways to provide service and support to those in need, it helps to place our lives in perspective and find a sense of purpose in helping others.
- Focus on the present and what’s in your control. Sometimes we concentrate and worry on future outcomes or replay past events over in our minds. When life feels out of control, it can contribute to the feeling of being “stuck” and make it even more difficult to find our way forward. None of us can control the challenging or the unexpected events in our lives, but we can choose to refocus on today and let go of what isn’t in our power to change.
- Find your community. Whether it is Widowed Friends or another group of family, friends, or relatives, find the people who you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with and who will provide you with support. Sometimes this might mean seeking professional help if you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness or are struggling with managing everyday activities. Finding a supportive and understanding community to share your grief with is a positive step to take if you’re having difficulty moving forward.
- Practice optimism. We may feel “stuck”, if we see the “glass half empty” while others may see the “glass as half full.” . If we can actively choose to look on the sunny side of life, we will be more open to what our lives have to offer. Try to discover what brings you hope and what is going well – even small daily things like appreciating a sunny day, lovely flowers or a phone call with a friend. Sometimes trying out new practices helps too, things like meditation, engaging in spiritual practices, or practicing positive affirmations, and practicing gratitudel rekindles hope in the future.
It’s a topsy turvy world and often difficult to navigate. Sometimes it feels like we’re on a roller coaster, feeling good one day and not so good the next. These are all common feelings when dealing with grief and loss, but focusing on the positive and moving forward one step at a time, can help you feel a little better day by day. Do you have recommendations or tips to add to the list? Let us know and we’ll share with everyone -together we can be stronger!