Going Back To Work After The Loss Of A Loved One: How To Manage

Losing a loved one can be a major trauma; it can cause depression, stress, and changes in behavior that can affect work and relationships with others. Dealing with those feelings in the aftermath can be overwhelming, because there is no handbook. Navigating loss and grief takes time, support, and an understanding that you may grieve for months or even years to come. That’s why it’s important to know some techniques for getting through such a difficult time; learning how to cope and deal with sadness as it comes will help you heal in a healthy way.

Going back to work after losing a loved one is especially hard. Coworkers and supervisors may not know how best to help you, and sometimes, the sympathetic looks can make you feel even worse. Garnering support from a therapist, counselor, or support group can help you learn to express your feelings so that being at work and getting back into your schedule will go smoothly.

Here are a few of the best ways to manage your grief when you have to move forward after the loss of a loved one.

Get support

You may not feel like talking to someone right away; you might not feel like opening up for weeks, or even months. However, it’s important for you to get support from at least one source at some point during your grieving period. Whether it’s through church, a therapist or just a good friend who knows what you’ve been through, talk about what you’re feeling. It will be difficult at first–especially if you’re worried that talking about your loved one will bring up those feelings of sadness worse than ever–but pushing down the grief will only make things worse in the long run, and may impede your progress when you return to work.

If you find that you need more time to sort out your emotions, talk to your supervisor about working from home, reducing your hours, or getting some help from a coworker who can assist with your workload. It may seem like a lot to ask, but most employers would rather ensure their employees are taking care of their mental health than coming to work while they’re experiencing a loss of function.

It’s also important to remember that even though it’s easy to turn to dangerous substances like alcohol or even drugs when you’re feeling overwhelmed–whether from work, your grief, or a combination of the two–it’s important to find healthy coping habits rather than destructive ones, which will only cause more issues in the long run. If you find that you’re only able to find relief from substance use, reach out to a professional or trusted loved one for help immediately.

Look for peace

Don’t try to “move on” from the loss of a loved one; it’s next to impossible. Instead, focus on finding peace after your loss. It’s not always easy, because many people feel survivor’s guilt after an accident, or they may go through the various stages of grief, which include denial and anger. These emotions can make it very difficult for you to concentrate when you return to work and could have a negative effect on your performance. Allow yourself to feel those emotions, and then look for a way to resolve them. This might involve talking to other people who have lost loved ones, or joining a support group that can comfort you for as long as you need help. And remember, you can always find support and by turning to your faith to help sustain you during this difficult time.

Avoid conflict

The last thing you want to deal with when you’re grieving is conflict, but unfortunately, many families go through it, especially after the loss of a parent. It’s imperative to remember that the grief process affects everyone differently; some people may feel numb and show little emotion because they’re in shock, while others may be so upset that they become physically ill. Try to be patient with your family members during this difficult time, and refrain from giving any knee-jerk reactions.

The best way to do this is to make sure you’re well rested and have had enough to eat, two things which can be hard to do after experiencing a loss. Many people will bring food over after a death in the family, so arrange it on a table to allow everyone to grab a bite. Memorials, wakes, and funeral services can be physically exhausting, so afterward, don’t expect everyone to sit together in a gathering. Let your family members know that if they’re tired, they can lie down, and do the same for yourself. Listen to your body and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

When making preparations for the funeral, remember that you’ll sometimes need to compromise. As long as it falls within the perimeter of your loved one’s wishes, let it go. Everyone’s emotions will be running high, so keeping things calm is the best thing you can do.

Losing someone you love can affect you in many ways–mentally, emotionally, and physically–and it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Eat when you feel hungry, rest when you feel tired, and stay hydrated. These three things may sound simple, but they are the foundation for healing.

Geralt – https://pixabay.com/en/thinking-thinking-work-man-face-272677/
affect work – https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/returning-to-work-while-grieving-5-helpful-suggestions_us_589f128be4b0e172783a9c9f
back to work – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2015/05/13/going-back-to-work-after-a-death-in-the-family/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1692764ee6f8
return to work – https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2015/05/07/returning-to-work-after-the-devastating-loss-of-a-loved-one/#366e37a36900
healthy coping habits – http://www.adrugrehab.org/6-sober-coping-strategies/

Lucille Rosetti ?
l_rosetti@thebereaved.orgThe Bereaved

Posted in For Families.

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