Life will get bright and sunny again.
Anxiety presents itself as a fear of something, either real or imagined. When we lose someone, we may experience fear of the new reality, death, or losing another loved one.
Anxiety is part of the grieving process and should be added to the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
There is an element of truth to the saying: time heals all wounds, but if we don’t allow ourselves to process this grief, we may postpone the light at the end of the tunnel we desperately yearn for.
Talk to a professional.
Be it a therapist, counselor or a coach, talking to a professional helping practitioner can make a big difference. Not only will you experience relief but you’ll be guided in the right direction toward dealing with anxiety. You have nothing to lose, only to gain.
Take time off work & spend it with loved ones.
Normally, we don’t go to work when we’re unwell. Similarly, when we mourn over losing a loved one we’re also unwell. Give yourself permission to take time off work or school and spend time with your friends and family. Finding comfort in a familiar environment or company may be just the thing you need. If they talk about the one you lost and it makes you feel uncomfortable, set some boundaries. They’ll understand. Also, being with loved ones will help ease the anxiety of losing them since you’re together.
Join a support group.
You’re not the only one who’s dealing with anxiety after losing a loved one. Many times, knowing this can bring a sense of relief, or feeling understood. Join a support group and hear other people’s journeys and pains. Support them and be supported by them. Pour your heart out and let yourself be heard.
Take care of yourself.
It can be tempting to get into the habit of self-sabotage and neglect. Many people will turn to alcohol, drugs or food in an attempt to avoid feeling anxious and sad. You need to look after yourself now more than ever. When you’re sick, you do the things that help you get better. Same goes for mourning. Sleep, eat well and exercise. Consider journaling, meditating, or even creating something (e.g work on a new project, do art, etc.).
Accept and integrate your loved one’s transition into your life.
Accept the new normal without the one you’ve lost. Accept that you can’t get over it, you can only move on. Allow yourself to go through the stages of grief, including anxiety. Be aware and mindful of how you feel. Observe how the anxiety comes and goes. It’s okay to feel the way you feel.
Congratulate yourself and celebrate your resilience.
Losing someone we love is one of the most painful things we can experience in life. Acknowledge this and pat yourself on the back. You got up this morning, made nutritious breakfast and worked out. You’re stronger than you think and anxiety has no power over you. Celebrate how resilient you are and how far you’ve come dealing with it.
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Here are some prompts:
Do you agree with the author?
Have you tried art expression? Which medium did you use to express?
Paintings? Music? Dance?
Would you join a virtual art group for grieving families?