Finding Joy in Life After a Loss
Whether you have experienced a painful divorce or the loss of a dear friend or family member, intense emotions (hopelessness, sadness, anger, loneliness) are normal and expected. The path to recovery involves allowing yourself to grieve and taking steps to nurture yourself along the way. Today, The Art Studio NY shares some strategies to help you navigate the emotions, treat the pain, and ultimately, find joy again.
Give Yourself Time
Grief is a process, and you need to give yourself the space and time to get through it. It’s not healthy to rush yourself or to feel guilty that the healing process is taking too long. Rather, allow yourself to be where you are and understand that while progress may feel slow, you will feel better one day.
Use Art to Heal
Sometimes it is hard to let our emotions out, but art can help, which is why art is so important in emotional healing. Recover from Grief explains that art provides a safe space for expressing deep and meaningful emotions. It also creates a sense of power and control, which can be helpful as you move through the helplessness that often accompanies grief.
The Art Studio NY provides opportunities for artists of any age and ability to express themselves. You can join a class, attend a one-day workshop, or even schedule private sessions as you work through your emotions.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. If you feel you need outside assistance, there are several good options:
> Read or listen to a book that helps you better understand what you’re experiencing.
> Schedule regular sessions with a therapist who specializes in grief.
> Join an in-person or online grief support group.
> Accept help from close friends and family.
As you gather contact information and help-related resources, make a simple filing system so that you don’t lose them. Using digital files is more convenient and avoids paper clutter, which has been shown to increase anxiety. Try scanning your files and creating a digital filing system. If there are documents that you need to revise or want help interpreting, you may want to try a free online PDF editing tool. It will allow you to add notes, comments, and virtual sticky notes to your file and send it to someone else for review. This tool may be especially helpful if you are preparing end of life related documents.
Incorporate Movement Into Your Day
Physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Not only does it benefit you physically, but research also shows that it provides a host of mental health benefits, such as improved mood and lower levels of depression and anxiety. Exercise can also aid you during the grieving process by distracting you from the heavy emotions and providing an outlet for relief.
If exercise simply doesn’t fit into your busy schedule, don’t despair. There are simple ways to integrate movement into your daily life:
> Avoid the elevator and take the stairs instead.
> Schedule hourly reminders to get up and walk across the room.
> Eat at your desk and use your lunch break for a quick walk.
> Avoid close parking spots to sneak in extra steps.
Reassess Your Career Goals
When you suffer a significant loss, you often gain insight into the brevity of life and the importance of embracing every moment. Time is too short to spend your days doing something you don’t enjoy, so if you are unhappy with your job, consider making a change.
To find a more fulfilling career, consider taking a career assessment test. By analyzing your interests and skills, this tool can provide you with a list of ideal job options. Update your resume once you’ve determined your preferred line of work. By using a free online tool, a new, well-designed resume is just a few clicks away:
> Select your preferred format from a library of high-quality samples.
> Input the necessary information, including education, job history, and skills.
> Select your preferred fonts and colors.
> Add personal touches such as pictures and graphics.
You may decide at this point that going back to school is the quickest route to getting into your new career. Fortunately, there are plenty of online programs to let you earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, for example, or a degree in business. Look online for options related to your new focus, but only consider accredited institutions. If you’re working now, you may need to prioritize programs that offer asynchronous or evening classes so that they don’t interfere with your work schedule.
Give Meditation a Try
Meditation is a wonderful tool for finding peace during a challenging time. By giving yourself a few minutes to relax, breathe deeply, and live in the moment, you can experience a sense of calm and control that can facilitate healing. To get started, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit and utilize a free app that provides guided meditations. By dedicating at least five to ten minutes daily to your practice, you’ll feel more at peace in no time.
Find Your Path Forward
If you have recently suffered a loss, you may be experiencing many difficult emotions. Rather than avoiding your feelings or rushing the grieving process, be kind to yourself and take steps that can help you recover and find happiness again. Find things that bring you peace, like art therapy, and then focus on setting and pursuing goals that will make you happy. Grief is hard and it never entirely goes away, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sit in the darkness forever. Find your path to healing and joy.
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