Senior Care Blog Wayland and Weston

Coping with Your Own Emotions on National Grief Awareness Day

By Denise Roskamp

Caregivers in Weston MA

August 30 is National Grief Awareness Day. This is a day that is ideal for you to focus in on the grief that you are working through and learn productive, beneficial ways to cope with this grief so that you can continue to care for your loved one in the way that they deserve.

Use these tips to help you cope with your own emotions on National Grief Awareness Day:

• Confront the grief. Do not try to "hide" from the grief that you are feeling. Rather than pushing this grief to the back of your mind or trying to avoid letting yourself feel it, be courageous and confront the grief fully. This will let you really feel the emotions that will come with this difficult time in your life and begin to work through them in a healthy and productive way rather than waiting for them to "erupt" and negatively impact your health and behavior.

• Talk about it. Grief is not a comfortable experience for anyone, but it is not your responsibility to try to shield others around you from what you are going through. Be open and talk about your feelings and how it is impacting you. Expressing your emotions helps you to work through them rather than internalizing them and putting yourself at risk.

• Give yourself permission to see the experience realistically. You may not expect all of the emotional responses that come with grief. You likely know that you will experience sadness, pain, and loss, but you might not realize that you could also experience anger, regret, guilt, and possibly even relief. Be honest with yourself about these feelings and give yourself permission to work through all of them in the way that is right for you.

• Journal. It is one of the most common recommendations given to someone who is working through grief, but journaling can be one of the best ways to handle your grief. This can help you to express your emotions and the challenges that you are going through. Especially if you do not feel comfortable talking about everything that you feel, journaling is a chance for you to get these thoughts, feelings, and questions out. This also provides a record of this time so that later you can look back through them and remember what you went through. This gives you the opportunity to further work through these emotions and to help others who may be going through their own journey with grief.

If your grief is negatively impacting your ability to fulfill your caregiver responsibilities for your aging parent, consider home care. A respite home care provider can step in to provide the care that your elderly loved one needs while you are concentrating on working through this difficult time in your life. This enables you to get through your grief, protect your mental and emotional health, and heal so that you can move forward as the highest quality caregiver you can be for your loved one.