Are you searching for a grief counselor?
You may notice that during grief, you experience tiredness, low energy, or a decline in motivation. The activities and interests that pulled your attention in the past do not have the same impact today.
Experiencing loss can have a profound effect on a person’s life.
Among the common signs shared above, there are 5 stages of grief. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I want to share with you what the first stage of grief looks like. As you read over the case study below, see if some of the feelings or experiences connect to you. Check out this helpful podcast on mental health.
The first stage of grief is denial.
Jessica started therapy 6 weeks after the passing of her son. She shared with her counselor that the passing was unexpected and came at a shock for everyone. During a session, Jessica shared “I can’t even go into his room. I haven’t. Not since that day. Everything is still there. His clothes, toys, even the last outfit that he wore. It’s there sitting in his laundry basket. I feel so confused. Why did this happen?” Jessica worked closely with her counselor to identify her shock, confusion, and avoidance of the loss of her child. Jessica stated, “You know what, I’m still in shock. I feel literally the same way that I felt when I received the phone call. Nothing has changed. I still think about everything that happened that day. Waking up, eating breakfast, taking him to camp. I’ve gone over it a million times. Why. Why him?”
In the example above, you are able to truly gain insight into the deep pain that Jessica is experiencing. Though her son passed away 6 weeks prior, she continues to navigate the first stage of grief. This can be seen due to Jessica experiencing avoidance, fear, shock, and confusion.
If you find yourself in the first stage of grief know that you are going in the right direction. Experiencing loss is different for each of us my friends. Some of us spend more time in certain stages than others. We all have our own journey.
In stage one of the grief stages, it is important to give yourself the following:
- Space to experience and feel. Let yourself cry. It is okay to feel how you feel.
- Find a support system. This can include working with a grief counselor and attending group therapy.
- Engage with nature. I’ve connected with so many individuals who experienced loss and have found that nature soothes the soul, mind, and body. You can connect with nature by going on walks or sitting on a park bench. CLICK HERE for more coping skills.
- Quality time. Spend time with people that provide you with safety and comfort.
- Follow a to-do list. You do not have to overdo it here. Simply give yourself a few items to do on your list so that you are actively working on productivity. This supports moving your life forward.
- Create a supportive and soothing music playlist. In case you didn’t know it, music is extensively researched as it supports mental health. You can use this strategy by creating a music list based on the feelings you are wanting to experience. Such as a calming playlist.
- Write to your loved one. In the case of Jessica, she can actively write to her son. This activity gives her a beautiful space to connect with the reality of what is taking place. This activity also helps to reduce the act of bottling up feelings.
If you are reading this post and have experienced loss, I want to welcome you to reach out. I can understand that this may be a challenging step. Please know that you are always welcome to call.
Counselors at Santos Counseling will connect with you over the phone. This gives you space to share your story and to see if the counselor is a good fit.