No parent ever wants to have to see their kids in pain, sad, stressed, anxious, fearful, or depressed, but unfortunately, life can sometimes deal families a bad hand. As hard as you strive to provide a happy, healthy, and safe life for your loved ones, you’re bound to go through a few rough patches as well. Though some may be easy to move past, other circumstances aren’t so easy. When an event occurs that emulates a loss, getting yourself and your children through the grieving process isn’t always black and white.
What Constitutes a Loss?
It isn’t uncommon to assume that a loss would equate to a death. Though death is categorized as a loss, there are a lot of things throughout life that can happen that also feels like a loss. As best defined, a loss means to lose something of value or the state of grief when deprived of something of value or meaning. So, essentially, a loss could be any of the following:
Death of a pet
Terminal illness diagnosis
Death of a family member or friend
When you and your family are hit with circumstances like these and other losses, getting past it will take time. Knowing what healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with grief for both yourself and your children, can help make the healing process a lot smoother.
Unhealthy Ways of Coping
Suffering from a loss is no doubt very painful. It doesn’t matter whether your grief comes from the demise of a long marriage, the aftermath of a serious accident (injuries), or the death of a loved one, you have to allow yourself to go through the grieving process. Unfortunately, many, turn to measures that aren’t healthy. Here are things you want to avoid while grieving:
Substance abuse – Using drugs, alcohol, painkillers, or other vices to numb the pain of what you’re going through is never the answer. Though these things may take away physical and emotional pain temporarily, it is not a permanent solution and can worsen your overall well-being. If you’ve reached the point where you’re relying on things like marijuana, booze, or painkillers to get through the day, you need to find Ohio prescription drug rehab centers or other location-based rehab centers to help you kick the habit fast.
Isolation – Time to yourself is necessary when suffering from a loss, but isolating yourself and/or your children from their daily lives and those they love long-term can backfire. Isolation leads to pent-up emotions of anxiety and depression and can cause mental health issues for the entire family. In terms of isolation, another unhealthy practice is for parents to avoid or stay away from their children. Though you may simply be unable to cope or trying to appear strong for them, the message you send is that their feelings don’t matter.
Abandoning Routine – When you’re in a funk about a loss, tending to your daily routines may be the last thing on your mind. A break may be necessary to a point, but the longer you remain disorganized and out of the loop, the harder it is to get back on track after you’ve grieved. If you’ve stopped caring for yourself and/or your children, this is a very unhealthy way to deal with your loss.
Not seeking help – It’s not a sign of weakness or an admission of defeat if you turn to someone for help, but many people decide not to reach out. They instead try to deal with the loss on their own. When you’re ill-equipped to deal with the situation, it’s like the blind leading the blind only making matters worse.
Healthier Options for Coping
Not dealing with the problem, sweeping things under the rug, turning to vices, isolating yourself and your children, abandoning routines, and trying to grieve without the support of others when you need it are all disastrous ways to cope with a loss. In fact, they are all surefire ways to make things worse. Here are some healthier options you might try:
Give yourself time to grieve
Allow yourself and your children to express their emotions
Take time to deal with it
Maintain your daily routines as best as possible
Reintegrate into society slowly
Find positive releases for both you and your children
Take care of yourself and family making sure to eat right, stay active, and get sleep
Reach out to others for help when self-help measures aren’t working
The loss of a pet, job, marriage, house, or family member can be a devastating blow to any family. The important thing to getting yourself and your children through all of this is to turn away from negative methods of coping and look towards more positive ways to heal. It may take time depending on the type of loss and aftermath, but sure enough, you will all come out on the other side stronger than you ever were before.