Grief goes through many stages which can be difficult to cope with. Feeling the actual feelings of grief until a final stage of acceptance can be reached is not as easy as turning to maladaptive coping behaviors instead. These are some of the common ways people cope with grief in order to avoid feeling the depth of pain and loss.
Staying distracted is actually healthy to a degree. Sometimes, it is good to keep the brain preoccupied and focused on work, a hobby, or something other than the grieving process. Like all things, it requires balance. There is such a thing as getting too distracted, which indicates you are not giving yourself the proper space to feel, mourn, grieve, and rest. The grieving process is tumultuous and can be exhausting. Staying distracted all the time also takes a lot of work and can be equally distracting.
Isolation can be an essential during the grieving process. You need some quality time alone to be with your thoughts, feel your feelings, and process your loss. You also need supportive, unconditionally loving, and understanding friends, family members, or acquaintances. Being around other people after a significant loss is always challenging to the person in mourning. Rather than be able to mourn on their own, the person in mourning is often burdened with listening to other’s express their personal grief and sadness. Isolation can seem like a welcomed retreat. You never have to go through grief alone. Rely on the friends and family members you care for to lift you up during these times.
Grief and loss can leave an empty hole in your life. Uncomfortable and unfamiliar, you might be tempted to try and fill that empty space with impulsivity or spontaneity. Spontaneous activities are healthy and can remind you what living can be like. Impulsive decisions can quickly get out of hand. Give yourself some time before making any rash decisions. Alternating mood shifts of anger, depression, denial- and general exhaustion- can leave your brain confused, lacking in good decision making.
You are your number one priority during the grieving process. You have to take care of yourself by meeting your most basic necessities in order to sustain the emotional digestion going on. Eating right, eating at all, getting enough sleep, not getting too much sleep, taking care of your hygiene, and more, has to continue being a routine. During the phases of depression it is easy to get lost in low energy and low motivation. Pushing yourself to meet your needs is essential to carrying on and getting through.