Grief can be debilitating. Whether you have lost a loved one, had a medical scare, felt rejected by family or people around you, or have received some other form of bad news or hatred, know that you can come out of the situation.
It may feel impossible to heal and move forward, but with time and support you can. Here are some ways to seek support, set boundaries, and focus on your own well-being to get you through your grief and back to enjoying life.
Sacrosanct Collective is a safe space for LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC to express themselves and heal through creativity. They exist for your health and wellness.
As much as you might want to withdraw from people as you come to terms with your loss, it could be highly beneficial and healing to surround yourself with loved ones instead. These are the very people that you can pour your heart out to in low moments.
They are also often the ones who are ever-ready to lend an ear or offer a shoulder to lean on for support. So, instead of pulling away, draw closer to friends and family in times of need, and you just might find that the recovery process gets a little bit easier with each new day.
If being face-to-face with family and friends feels too overwhelming, try an online community like Sacrosanct or a local group that will prioritize respect and anonymity. Grief can be a result of being misunderstood or mislabeled, and it is important to find a support group where you will be understood and supported.
Practice Regular Exercise
Though you may not feel like it, exercise is a healthy coping mechanism to break free of constricting emotions if you feel like the world is closing in on you during times of grief. Scientifically speaking, exercise can boost your mood through the release of the feel-good hormone serotonin.
Therefore, incorporating exercise into your day and even as you resume working can do wonders for you emotionally as you make those positive strides towards healthy healing and living happily again.
Being outside is scientifically proven to be good for your mental and physical well-being, so exercising outside is best. However, if you can’t initially bring yourself to go outside, try some yoga in the comfort of your own home.
According to Harvard Health, yoga can boost your mood and reduce your emotional reactivity, both of which can help as you pull out of your grief.
Express Your Emotions
There are many different ways to express your emotions. Therapy is always a good option, and there are now plenty of online therapy options, too, which can help if you are struggling to leave the house.
Very Well Mind created a well-researched list of the best online therapy options, and their list includes specific options for members of the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities.
If you struggle to talk to others about your feelings, journaling could also be a therapeutic outlet to use alongside therapy or until you feel more mentally stable.
Journaling is not just good for expressing your emotions when you are grieving, but it’s also a way to unwind and de-stress if you struggle to cope with other stressful aspects of life.
Art is another way that you can process your emotions and cope with your grief. Arts and Mind Lab explores the science behind how the arts can help soothe grief, and suggest activities like creating a memory box or sculpture to express and work through your emotions. But any art can be used for these purposes.
Sometimes it’s easy to want to neglect doing those things that make us happy after experiencing loss out of fear of guilt for enjoying life again after your trauma. However, if you want to overcome the grief holding you back, it is vital to keep pressing on and continue to do those things that make you feel happier on the inside.
Then, as you keep holding onto those passions that make you feel alive and joyful, you’re bound to feel lighter and more free from the burden of sadness weighing you down.
It’s also important to establish boundaries for your own mental and physical health, which includes the ability to say ‘no’ when you are unable to take on more than you can physically or mentally handle. Indeed, there are benefits to setting boundaries in your personal and professional life if you want to avoid the nasty side effects of burnout.
In fact, saying 'no' when you know you can’t do more is a way you can take back control of your life. Moreover, it can give you the space you need to grieve, heal and come out the other side feeling more whole, more alive, and more productive than before.
If you have come through your grief experience with a passion to help others, consider starting a business or nonprofit that focuses on unmet needs or resources that were difficult for you to find during the aftermath of your trauma.
It is very likely that you were not - and will not be - the only person who felt these absences while trying to heal. In this way, you have already established a need for this new business, and you have likely already started to develop a rough business plan in your head. And perhaps this new venture will help you feel purpose again.
In conclusion, it’s never easy experiencing loss. And yes, taking all the time you need to process your emotions is important to do.
However, it’s vital to not give in to these feelings of despair and hopelessness because you have to continue on for yourself, your family, and your friends as you come to terms with a world that doesn’t quite look the same anymore but could still be beautiful on the other side of your pain.
Camille created Bereaver.com after she went through the ups and downs of the bereavement process herself following the loss of her parents and husband. With the help of her friend who was also experiencing a loss of her own, she learned how to grieve the healthy way, and she wants to share that with others. There is no one way to grieve, but it is important to do it in a way that supports your physical and mental health throughout.
Sacrosanct is a community blog that amplifies the voices and art of LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC. As a digital space for marginalized folks to self-define, self-actualize, and heal, Sacrosanct is firmly situated at the core of intersectionality while also providing mental health and community resources made for and by LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC. To fund these LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC artists for their contributions to the platform, consider leaving a donation here and follow Sacrosanct on Instagram and Facebook.