Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Cope with the Loss of a Parent

Regardless of how expected it may have been, the death of a parent can shake a person to their core. Grief has a profound impact on a person’s life. In fact, studies show that about 40 percent of those grieving will experience some form of anxiety disorder in the year immediately following their loved one’s death.1  While nothing can take away the pain of losing a parent, here are some tips for coping and regaining happiness once again:

The tools for coping with grief

There are many different forms of assistance available to a person who is dealing with the profound grief of losing a parent. Though scientific research is conflicted about which method works best, a person should know that they have many options available to them as they try to work through this difficult time. 

Counseling can be a powerful tool for a person who has lost a parent. Many people find that they feel an obligation to be strong in the weeks and months following the death of their mother or father. They may put on a brave face for children or other family members, and may begin to bottle up their emotions as a result. This can become quite unhealthy, and may even cause the grieving process to worsen. 

For this reason, speaking with a mental health professional can be prove to be a great source of relief. The sessions are a place where the person can express their true emotions without worrying about how this will impact others. Knowing that someone is listening and providing support is an important part of healing and moving on. 

Others find that journaling helps them to gather their thoughts and feel more positive once again. For those who may not feel comfortable trusting a stranger with their most sensitive emotions, this is the perfect outlet for self-expression in a healthy way. Studies show that even just 15 minutes of journaling per day can help to lessen depression and to prevent grief from worsening. 

Self-care is also highly important as a person works through the mourning process. This includes eating well, getting extra rest, and setting a routine. There is comfort in the routine, and this can be useful as a person tries to readjust to life without Mom or Dad around. 

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