World Mental Health Day: 10 Ways To Cope With Loss Of A Loved One – Experts Advice
Every year on October 10, the World Mental Health Day is observed. According to the World Health Organization, “The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.” Mental Health has long being ignored globally, including India, and the stigma associated with mental health issues have often prevented people from seeking help. While things are slowly changing and there’s greater acceptance of mental health problems, there’s still a long way to go. Apart from stigma, lack of awareness play a significant role in hindering the treatment for depression and other mental health issues.
A loss of a loved one – whether it’s a death of a close member of the family or a dear friend, or a divorce or seperation from partner – can lead to depression that can be clinical. Dr Gorav Gupta, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder & Director – Tulasi Healthcare, shares, “Suffering a loss, whether it’s the death of a loved one or a separation from a partner, can be one of the most emotionally challenging experiences in life. During these times, prioritizing your mental health is essential for healing and moving forward.” While time heals, you need to take active steps to help yourself feel better.
World Mental Health Day 2023: How To Cope With Separation And Breavement
Any kind of personal loss – death of a loved one or seperation from partner – can be immensely taxing on your mental health, which in turn can affect your physical health too. Dr Gorav Gupta shares 10 steps to help ensure your mental well-being after experiencing such a loss. Read on:
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: It’s crucial to recognise and accept the wide range of emotions that accompany grief – sadness, anger, guilt, and even relief. These feelings are normal and part of the healing process.
2. Seek Support: Reach out to friends and family who can provide a listening ear and emotional support. Talking about your feelings can be therapeutic and help you feel less alone in your grief.
3. Professional Guidance: Consider seeking help from a mental health professional or counsellor experienced in dealing with grief. They can provide you with the tools and strategies to navigate your emotions effectively.
4. Self-Care: Pay attention to your physical health. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are vital for maintaining your mental well-being. A healthy body supports a healthy mind.
5. Establish Routine: Create a daily schedule that gives you a sense of structure and purpose. This routine can help you maintain stability during turbulent times.
6. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises. These practices can help you manage stress and stay present in the moment.
7. Honouring Memories: Find meaningful ways to remember and honour your loved one. This could involve creating a memorial, starting a charitable project in their name, or simply cherishing the memories you shared.
8. Realistic Expectations: Understand that healing takes time, and there is no specific timeline for grief. Be patient with yourself and allow for moments of sadness and setbacks.
9. Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk. Remember, you are going through a challenging time, and self-compassion is essential.
10. Reconnect With Passions: Reengage with hobbies and interests that bring you joy. These activities can provide comfort and a sense of identity during times of loss.
Mental Health: ‘Seeking Help Is A Sign Of Strength, Not Weakness’
Emphasising the importance of mental well-being as a crucial aspect of overall health, Dr Gorav Gupta shares, “Coping with the loss of a loved one or the end of a significant relationship is a deeply personal journey. The above-mentioned ten steps, when followed with patience and self-compassion, can help you prioritise your mental health during this challenging time. Remember that seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Healing from loss is a process, and with the right support and self-care, you can gradually find a path towards recovery and renewal.”