18 Coping Skills to Help Ease the Waves of Grief

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I see the effects of losing a loved one and the grief that washes over them, like waves of the ocean.  None of us choose to go through grief, it just lands on our doorstep, on an ordinary day and leaves sadness and sometimes hopelessness behind.

Grief is our natural response to losing a loved one and there are some basic stages we sometimes go through. These stages can include Bargaining, Denial, Anger, Depression and Acceptance. They come in no particular order and just when you think you have made it through a stage..bam the wave crashes again and you are back to where you started.

To ease the incoming waves of grief here are a few resources I’d like to share with you that can help you cope. They are in no way the fix for grief but may be helpful. Therapists call these coping skills and they are anything that gives you a moment of peace. A moment when you can breathe in and release a small bit of the grief. This is just the beginning of a list you can create for yourself. If you google “coping skills” you will find hundreds of ideas.  The coping skills I am listing have helped my clients to regain some peace in their lives.

  1. Take a walk
  2. Meet a friend for coffee or tea
  3. Talk to a trusted friend
  4. Pray
  5. Rest
  6. Eat healthy foods
  7. Cry – tears are healing
  8. Breathe
  9. Be patient with yourself
  10. Create Art – color, paint, draw, play with play dough
  11. Attend grief counseling or a support group
  12. Remember your loved one
  13. Listen to music
  14. Read your bible
  15. Create a memory box
  16. Sing your favorite song
  17. Read your favorite magazine or book
  18. Go to the beach or another favorite spot

There is no one way to grieve. Do what feels right for you. If you find yourself isolating or feeling depressed contact a therapist in your area.  You are not alone.  Give yourself time and the permission to grieve.


Resources to help you cope with grief

Debbie Ciulla LMFT #98887 – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

(805)551-7957  therapydebb@gmail.com  www.ohanafamilycounseling.com

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