By Laura Wrublevski, MA, LAC
We are all here to listen and honor your story as you share it with us. While this experience may be new and unique to you, for us here at Day By Day, we are certainly familiar with similar experiences. We are passionate about the support we provide to you as you navigate through your grief. We also believe that with a little guidance there are many ways in which you can manage your grief on your own.
Here are some coping strategies available to you:
- This is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The benefits to mindfulness is that anyone can do it, anywhere and at any time. It is also an evidence-based practice without the pressures of having to change yourself to incorporate it into your life. For more information and a step by step mindfulness exercise go to www.mindful.org
- Redirecting thoughts. In grief, shame and guilt often rise to the surface making their presence known. These thoughts are primal responses as a way for our body to protect itself, however they are not always useful to us. Many of these thoughts may sounds like this: “I should have waited longer to euthanize.” “I should have known my cat was sicker than he appeared.” “My grief will never be accepted by others.” Knowing that these thoughts go hand in hand with your grief can help reduce the negativity you are experiencing. When you find yourself dwelling on these thoughts, remembering, recognizing and harnessing all the positive actions you took or responses you received from others is one way to break the negativity chain. This is a great article to learn more about redirecting thoughts: https://chopra.com/articles/the-art-of-redirecting-negative-thoughts
- Focus on what you can control. Our fears, worries and concerns commonly known as our anxieties can take hold in our minds. What we may not realize at first is how much time and energy we use thinking about all the things we have no control over. Armed with this new knowledge focusing on what we can control takes a lot of work, however the benefit will outweigh worrying about all those things you can’t control. This article offers a reflective exercise to get you started.
My hope for all of you is that as you go through your grief journey you find time to be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you too have the tools within you to manage your grief. =)
-Laura Wrublevski is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the State of New Jersey. She is a Support Circle Facilitator for Day By Day at Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, NJ.