Mental Health Awareness: Loss

As we delve into a new season, month, and era into the new “normal” we must take the time to check in with our mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness month and I would like to promote the need for expression. The world is currently experiencing things that will most definitely make their way into our children’s children’s history books. And let’s face it, it has taken a toll on everyone. Whether or not you were or are personally impacted by the events of the past year does not change the fact a healthy mind is an important topic. Normalizing discussions on mental responses to life’s many events (good or bad) is a step in the direction toward leading a Resonant Lifestyle. There are so many areas of mental health to unravel each and every day but today I want to discuss “Loss”.

What Is The Meaning Of Loss?

What qualifies as a loss can vary from person-to-person and from situation-to-situation. Some may find letting something go as a step toward greener pastures. And others may find the end of a chapter the end to all that they know. Whether it be loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or loss of an item the pain and stress is real. Do not allow anyone to diminish or dismiss how you are feeling during your grief. Everyone deserves the time to mourn. The important thing to remember is to in fact mourn.

How To Cope With A Loss

The best way to cope is to in fact “cope”. Unfortunately the pain of a loss can be so great that many just want to feel nothing. This longing brings many to look toward harmful behavior as a way to numb the agony. Just as Novocain briefly numbs your mouth for a dental procedure, anything that has the same effect on how you are feeling with be just as short lived.

  • Acknowledge and face the pain. Talking about it, in my opinion, is one of the hardest but most effective ways to cope. Forming the words to truly express yourself can be scary. Why? Because we all fear judgement. But working toward removing the stigma behind mental health is going to involve not judging others and ignoring those who will judge.
  • Can’t speak about it, write about it. I will continue to promote journaling to my last breath. If the topic is still too fresh and unbearable to put into words have on hand a journal with provided prompts. Many of my favorites come from the Piccadilly brand (https://piccadillyinc.com/). Eventually as you write you will find yourself delving into the root of your distress. Once you’re in it, you are less likely to keep running from it.
  • Take action. Engaging in activities that relate to your loss in some way is another proactive way to cope. One of the hardest things I have had to do was clean out my mother’s belongings after she passed away. The process ended up being just what I needed to allow all the amazing memories overshadow the pain and push me along the grieving process.

Handle loss in your own way but please address it before it has a chance to eat away at you. And do not confuse the numbing effects of potentially dangerous avenues as ways to cope. The long-term effects of negative behaviors will only bring about more loss.

If you are unsure where to turn reach out to the many organizations ready and able to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is just one of many. You only need to be willing to open up and talk.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

Today I am grateful for the 20 years I had with my mother and all that she has taught me. I am grateful for the mindset to appreciate, respect, and not waste time. And I am grateful for all of you out there waking up each day and just “dealing”.

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