Strategies to Cope with Grief and Loss

Strategies to Cope with Grief and Loss

In my previous blogs I discussed disenfranchised grief and provided the framework of the stages of grief and loss in which people progress through when it comes to coping with any form of loss. When it comes to coping with loss it is important to remember that each person’s journey is unique and coping techniques may differ from person to person. Here are some tips and strategies to cope with loss:

Allow yourself to experience the pain of loss: Sometimes people feel guilty about the way they feel and think they should “get over it.” With allowing yourself the time to grieve and fully experience the feelings of grief, such as shock, sadness, anger, and loneliness it can assist you in processing and releasing the intense emotions. (American Psychological Association, 2018)

Talk with others: With talking about your loss to friends and family can help you in processing and releasing your feelings. (Sirota, 2015)

Find creative outlets: By engaging in creative activities that you enjoy, such as music, art or writing your thoughts, feelings, and memories in a journal. With writing things in a journal it can allow you to see how your grief has changed over time. (Organic Facts, 2018)

Engage in physical activity: Taking part in a physical activity such as swimming, going for a walk, running, or taking part in a group exercise activity can help you cope with your emotions. Exercise and activities may help release feelings of depression, frustration and anger. (Better Health Channel, 2015)

Spoil yourself: When grieving it is important to take some time out from grieving and engage in pleasant activities and interact with supportive family members and friends. For example, going out to dinner with friends, taking a relaxing bath, watch a movie, start a new hobby, or enjoy the outdoors. Remember that it is good for you to enjoy yourself. It is okay to laugh and feel happy, despite your loss. (Better Health Channel, 2015)

Maintain a routine: By maintaining a routine of daily activities such as walking the dog it helps you structure your time and keeps you connected to familiar people and places. This will help you maintain a sense of normalcy and security and lessen additional stress. (NHS Choices, 2018)

Forgive yourself: Forgive yourself for the things you regret or saying to your loved one. Also forgive yourself for the things you did not do or say. With giving yourself permission to let go of regrets and the pain this will allow you to focus on the good memories. (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2015)

Be patient: Allow your grief to unfold at a pace that is natural for you. Don't judge or criticize yourself for not coping as well or healing as quickly as you think you should. Each person needs to grieve in ways that feel right. (Mental Health America, 2018)

Professional Support: If you feel as though you are still experiencing difficulties in coming to terms with your loss by seeking out support from a suitably qualified professional such as a Mental Health Social Worker.

Tanya Jordan is an experienced Forensic Social Worker and an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with T n J’s Consulting and Support Services

Reference Links

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (2015), Coping with Grief found online 6/02/2018 at

American Psychological Association (2018) Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one found online

Better Health Channel (2015), Dealing with grief and loss found online 6/02/2018

Mental Health America (2018) Coping with Loss: Bereavement and Grief found online

NHS Choices (2018) Dealing with grief found online

Organic Facts (2018) 10 Best Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss found online 6/02/2018

Sirota, M (2015 Four Strategies for Coping with Loss found online