Grief & Loss

Dealing with grief or losing someone or something you love is one of the hardest things in life. Often these situations are out of our hands, which can make us feel even worse, because it seems there is not a lot we can do to change it.

If it’s been a while and you’re still struggling with intense feelings of sadness or hopelessness, then it might be a sign that you need extra support or help. Scroll below to read more.

What triggers grief?

It might be the death of someone we love, moving towns, losing a job or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Everyone deals with losses and changes differently and feelings of grief are very normal.

Sometimes we can misjudge how much time and support we need to get us feeling better. 

When you’re experiencing grief it can be hard to concentrate on work, performing at trainings or even simple things like a conversation with a mate.

What does it look and feel like?

Feelings are common for someone experiencing grief and loss are:

  • Feeling as if no one understands what you’re going through
  • Feeling physically sick, headaches, stomach upset
  • Change in appetite, not feeling hungry or over-eating
  • Feeling extremely lonely or sad
  • Having a short temper
  • Spending all of your time thinking about the person or thing that you’ve lost
  • Feeling angry at yourself, others or the situation
  • Wanting to avoid other people
  • Being forgetful or struggling to remember things.

Below are just some of the things you can do to help cope with how you’re feeling and make sure you’re looking after yourself. 

Strategies & Tips

Taking a small step or setting some achievable goals are things that you can control and can help get you on the road to feeling better. Have a look at some of the strategies below and pick one or two that you feel you can give a go.

Spend Time With Supports

Friends and family are great supports. Talking with them about how you’re feeling and sharing memories can be a great comfort. 

Plan For Triggers

Try putting in plans around triggers like anniversaries. You might plan extra support on those days, stay with a friend or spend the day with family. 

Avoid Alcohol & Drugs

Try and steer clear of alcohol and drugs, they can appear to help short-term but in reality they can make you feel much worse. 

Listen To How You’re Feeling

Anger, sadness and exhaustion are all normal experiences after a loss. Be kind to yourself and allow time for those emotions to pass.

Express Your Grief

Try and find ways to express your grief, talk to others about your loved one or the thing you have lost. Writing in a journal can work well for some people.  

Take Some Time Out

Try and take some time out to do something you usually enjoy. Schedule it in as if it were an appointment. 

Eat & Drink Regularly

Loss of appetite or over-eating are common after a loss. Try and stick to eating 3 healthy meals a day and keep your fluid intake up. 

Seek Help

If you’re worried about how you’re feeling and need more support, seek help. Your GP is a good place to start. 

Get it sorted

Seeking help when you’re experiencing grief can make a massive difference to how you’re feeling. Surrounding yourself with good supports and looking after yourself is really important.

The below organisations provide support and advice for people who are going through grief.

Skylight is a New Zealand organisation who support people through times of trauma, loss and grief. They have a free phoneline 0800 299 100 and a range of different resources and information on their website also provides support and advice on how to cope with grief. They also have counsellors and support groups available.