From jobs and routines to vacations and activities we enjoy, 2020 has taken a lot from us. In past blogs we’ve shared how to deal with the stress and anxiety that has come from social distancing and the massive changes to the lives we had built pre-coronavirus. For this week’s blog, we switch gears to look at how to address the loss of a loved one.

Grief is a normal part of life and a normal healthy reaction to experiencing loss. Whatever you are feeling at that point in time is OK.

Most adults are familiar with the stages of grief. However, knowing does not always give an accurate picture. Grief experiences vary from person to person, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone’s grief experiences are different. Types of grief can depend on the relationship you had with the deceased friend, family member, or pet, how suddenly or tragic the event may have been, or how you have handled grief in the past. 

There are many ways people can grieve or cope with grief. Some may journal, paint, spend time in nature, surround themselves with the people they love, or hug loved ones a little more closely. For others, sometimes there is a need to seek outside support, which can include going to see a therapist.

Signs you need outside help

The main signs that grief may be impacting your life and there is a need to seek outside support include: 

  • Problems functioning normally in life. Do you avoid activities you used to love or have difficulty going to work or fulfilling family responsibilities?)
  • Extreme anxiety, depression, or feelings of panic that affect your day-to-day activities.
  • Self-destructive behavior that impacts you or your relationships with others around you. 

Some symptoms in the early stages of grief are normal. However, if the symptoms persist, intensify, or are negatively impacting your life, professional help may be warranted.

A therapist can provide a child or adult with the ability to feel accepted (not judged) and to have their story heard and validated so that they can begin to heal.

Are you grieving and need outside help, Your Story Matters Therapy Group is here. Our team is available to answer questions or to provide professional services. We are still offering telehealth sessions in addition to in-person therapy at both our Iowa and Nebraska locations. Contact us today.