Death is on a lot of people’s minds lately.
After all, over 1.2 million Americans have lost a member of their close family, since the pandemic began.
Did you recently experience the loss of a loved one?
If yes, you understand all too well the emotional roller coaster of grief.
Thankfully, instead of letting your thoughts and emotions consume your life, there are coping skills you can develop that can bring you peace and serenity.
What type of things should you do after someone you know passes away?
How can you get control of the thoughts running through your head? Read on to learn a few of the best coping skill techniques.
Envision a Healthy You
What are coping skills, exactly?
There’s no one size fits all. Instead, the best type of skills to cope with loss are the ones that resonate with you.
To choose the best skills for your needs, you’ll first need to envision what a healthy life looks like for you.
In the middle of grief, picturing what it would look like to be content can seem like an impossible task.
One minute, all of your attention is on how to plan a funeral reception, and the next you’re faced with trying to get back to a sense of normal.
Nevertheless, to have the most success building a healthy life for yourself as you move towards the future, it helps if you can paint a picture of where you want to be.
Take a few minutes today to write down details about what your ideal life would look like.
However, as you set your mind to it you'll begin to notice things that you've been yearning for, but haven't had time to think about.
For instance, maybe your creative person and you've been wanting to tap into your artistic side by doing a painting or making some music!
Start thinking about the hobbies you used to do, or always wanted to try.
Creative Outlets for Coping
Moving on, let's dive into all of the different ways you can move through grief using creative outlets.
You don't have to be artistically talented to benefit from the healing power of arts and crafts.
Since it's easy to isolate after a loss, we suggest making your artistic journey a social one too.
Find a local art class or workshop that's happening sometime this month.
After signing up, you'll notice now you have something new to think about and look forward to during the day.
When the time comes to attend the workshop, don't cancel, even if you don’t feel like going out.
Over time, going out, and putting yourself in social situations will get easier. However, you have to be willing to take that crucial first step.
If you're nervous about being in a social setting, bring a trusted friend along with you.
Join a Fitness Group
Another way to invest in your wellbeing, while also being social, is to join a fitness group.
It's easy to find all sorts of fitness groups online, so you don't even have to leave your house.
However, if there's a safe group of people you can work out with nearby, there is an added benefit to working out in person.
If you don’t like strenuous exercise, look for low-impact groups, like walking clubs.
Next, one of the best ways to build coping skills for depression or anxiety is to learn how to manage your thoughts.
All-day long, everyone has an internal dialogue that's playing inside their mind.
Not only are we always thinking, but a lot of our thoughts tend to be negative.
After someone you care about passes away, the internal dialogue can become even more negative than usual.
Suddenly fear over the future turns into anxiety, and longing for the past can become a direct depression.
You can try to kick out bad thoughts or force yourself to think positively, but you'll wind up exhausting yourself.
Instead of trying to control your thoughts and emotions, you should become aware of them.
How can you become more self-aware?
There's a lot of routes you can take, but one of the fastest paths to self-awareness is journaling.
You can journal to get all of your thoughts out about the day, notice emotional patterns, and identify thought patterns that are bringing you down.
By becoming fascinated with your emotions and thoughts, instead of condemning them, you can start to find paths to happiness.
Perhaps you already know about the benefits of journaling, but you never can seem to find the time.
To avoid making journaling an undone task on your to-do list, tackle it first thing in the morning.
Right after waking up, jot down how you feel, and what you're thinking.
If you have a few minutes in the afternoon or evening, write about what you're thinking and how you're feeling.
Over time you'll come to find just how powerful journaling can be when it comes to healing.
Find a Support Group
Lastly, let's discuss the importance of finding a support group you can talk to regularly.
Earlier we mentioned that having a social outlet is a great way to take your mind off things.
However, when you get together to do arts and crafts, or workout, it's usually not the time to discuss heavy thoughts and feelings.
That's where a support group comes in to save the day.
There's a tremendous benefit to regularly meeting with individuals who have experienced a loss, whether recent or not.
Talking to others will help you realize you’re not in this alone, there are all sorts of people who can help.
A quick online search should yield a lot of results for support groups that you can attend virtually, over the phone, or even in person.
Using Coping Skills to Build a Bright Future
Now you know a few different ways to improve your coping skills.
After reading this article, what's one thing you could do to help yourself move on, in a healthy direction?
Every step you take brings you closer to healing, no matter how much pain you might be in.
Remember to take a few minutes today to write down a few goals for yourself.
Paint a picture about what you'd like the future to look like, and then start investing in your health and happiness so you can get there.
For more tips, check out the rest of this site.