How to Cope with Grief and Loss as a Young Adult
Young adulthood can be an exciting, challenging and transitional time for many people as they learn how to navigate life as an independent adult. Unfortunately, grief and loss often enter the life of a young adult through the death of a loved one. This can have a profound effect on the length and breadth of their lives and certainly, their emotional well-being. Although the grieving process has its own timeline and expectations, there are many ways to make it easier for a young adult to cope with this difficult life experience.
Learn About The Grieving Process
It is essential to equip yourself with knowledge and understanding of the grieving process. There are many different stages of grief and how each individual deals with them will be unique. The initial shock that is experienced at the time of the loss can be overwhelming, making it difficult to begin the healing process. Various coping mechanisms can be employed during the mourning period, including finding a good support system.
Find A Support System
Support groups can be an important part of navigating the grieving process. Whether it’s online or in person, talking to people who can relate to what you are going through can be therapeutic. It can be helpful to open up, talk about memories and hear stories of those who have gone through a similar experience. It can also be useful to reach out to professional counsellors and support workers who are equipped with the tools and expertise to provide assistance in a safe and understanding environment.
Grieve Through An Outlet
Creative outlets such as writing, journaling, painting or creating music can be a powerful and healing way to express emotion. Honouring the life of the lost loved one through an artistic practice is a positive way to cope with the grief and can be a healthy strategy for moving forward.
Young adults often fall into the trap of believing that they need to be tough and carry on despite a difficult situation. While resilience and strength should be commended, it is still important to be mindful of one’s own needs. Self-care is important for anyone, but especially for young adults in times of grief. Taking breaks, meditating, and eating healthily are just a few of the many things that can help one to feel grounded and nourished during a difficult time.
Find A Balance
During such a transitional period of life, it is good to aim to find balance between all other responsibilities while still allowing oneself to feel the grief. Working towards that balance can involve finding new outlets and activities, such as taking up a sport or learning a new skill. The idea is to create a healthy distraction that allows one to actively work through the grieving process.
Remember The Good Times
It can be easy to focus on the pain and suffering associated with the death of a loved one. But recalling happy memories, no matter how distant, can help to bring some optimism and positivity into life. Sharing stories and laughs of the person who has passed away can be a great way to honour the legacy and keep their memory alive.
Navigating grief and loss as a young adult can be both very hard and rewarding experience. Understanding the grieving process, reaching out for help and being mindful of one’s needs are all essential for moving through this difficult time. It is important that every young adult finds their own way in mourning the passing of a loved one, and to remember that it is ok to feel the emotions that come with it.