No one escapes a major life change nor do they go through life without a life-altering event. It is painful to know that you’ve lost something you aren’t sure you can live without. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a body part or something else entirely, there are things you can and should do after experiencing a major loss.
Let go of blame
Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes no one is to blame. And yet, it’s so easy for our minds to search for the answer to who is to blame. Too often we blame ourselves for making a certain decision that seemed to cause a domino effect. Or we tell ourselves if we were different somehow, we wouldn’t have made that mistake that leads to the loss. Blame and judgment serve no purpose. In fact, they hold us back from moving forward past the pain.
Be extra gentle with yourself
Once you let go of assigning blame, it’s easier to be especially kind to yourself. That means different things to different people. How can you do this? You might take the vacation time you have to give yourself space to grieve. Or you may get a massage or spend time with a trusted, loving friend. Or you might sleep most of the weekend. Whatever it is, it’s fine. Just cut yourself some slack right now – it’s allowed!
Allow yourself to feel
The last thing we want is to feel the pain and sadness. But doing so is an important part of the healing process. Find a safe place to do that, whether it’s at home alone, with a trusted friend or advisor or even during your yoga class. Pushing away those “bad” feelings will only intensify how strong they are and how long they last.
Ask for help
We often feel shame or embarrassment when chaos ensues in our lives. We look around and see that everyone else’s life looks perfect and we wonder why that isn’t us. The fact is, no one’s life is perfect… ever. We just put our best faces forwards. It’s safe to ask for help from friends and family who love you. If you feel you need professional help to deal with the situation, that is exactly what you need and you should seek someone out whom you trust. There should be no shame in asking for help during this challenging time.
Only do what’s necessary
Now is the time to let someone else take over for a while. Take some time off from responsibilities that aren’t vital to you or others’ survival. Step down from committees or from hosting a big party, even if the invitations have already been sent. Just focus on today and what needs to be done, and only that.