Dealing with grief? These strategies can help you cope at a difficult time

Coping with the loss of a loved one is an incredibly difficult and stressful process.

You may face emotional and practical challenges, but there are strategies that can help you cope at this painful time.

The first step is to recognise and understand the symptoms of grief. You can then seek the support you need to take care of yourself.

Read on to learn some practical ways to work through your grief as you begin to cope with your loss.

It’s important to recognise the symptoms of grief

Grief can take many forms and you may experience it differently from your friends and family.

According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of grief include:

  • Shock and numbness
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Tiredness or exhaustion
  • Anger
  • Guilt

You could experience any or all of these emotions but fail to recognise them as part of the grieving process. That is why talking about how you feel, seeking support, and finding practical strategies for coping are so important.

Practical strategies to help you cope with grief

Talk through your grief

Although it might be difficult, talking about your emotions is an important part of coping with loss.

You might feel comfortable talking to a friend or family member. Sometimes, just being around others who care about you can be reassuring.

People often want to help but don’t know how, so you may need to tell them what you need – a shoulder to cry on, someone to share fond memories with, or simply a little company.

Alternatively, you could contact a professional counsellor or one of the many free online services such as GriefChat to help you work through your grief. They can act as an objective listener, allowing you to focus on exploring your emotions rather than worrying about the grief you are experiencing.

Write a to-do list

When you’re grieving, it can be hard to focus on the practical issues that need your attention.

If someone close to you has died and you’re responsible for their affairs, writing a to-do list could help you to feel less stressed and more in control. Prioritising your list into short-, medium-, and long-term tasks will make everything feel more manageable and reduce the risk of something being missed.

Your list will depend on the personal wishes of your loved one and your role in managing their affairs, but it might include:

  • Obtaining copies of the death certificate
  • Informing organisations (employers, utility companies and so on) about the death
  • Arranging a funeral
  • Locating the will
  • Applying for probate
  • Using the “Tell Us Once” service – this allows you to report the death to most government organisations in one go.

Take care of yourself

Don’t forget to practise self-compassion amid the busyness of organising your loved one’s affairs.

In addition to the psychological and emotional symptoms of grief, your physical wellbeing could be affected.

For example, the stress of the situation may lead to poor eating habits, weight loss or gain, poor sleep, fatigue, and aches and pains.

Taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing will help you to keep on top of your to-do list while also working through your grief in a healthy way.

Keeping active, making time for relaxation, and asking others for help if you’re struggling with everyday tasks such as shopping and cooking are good ways to be kind to yourself during this difficult time.

Seek professional financial advice

When you’re grieving for a loved one, the last thing you may feel like doing is wading through paperwork and tackling their finances.

According to research published by the Independent, dealing with the finances of a loved one who has passed away causes mental health problems for 40% of bereaved people in the UK.

There can be a lot of time-consuming and sometimes complex tasks to do, including:

  • Locating relevant paperwork
  • Managing investments
  • Dealing with pension and life insurance policies
  • Settling debts
  • Managing probate (the legal process of dealing with someone’s estate when they die).

If your loved one did not leave a will, it might also be upsetting and divisive trying to make decisions as a family after they have died.

A financial planner could help you get your loved one’s finances in order and plan for the future. They can work with you to make sure you have all the information necessary to make informed decisions, while ensuring that you meet any legal requirements, such as paying Inheritance Tax. They can also help you to manage any inheritance you have received.

At a stressful and emotional time, a financial adviser can remove some of the administrative burden, allowing you to focus on coping with the grief of losing a loved one.

Get in touch

If you need help organising the financial affairs of a loved one, please do get in touch with us at Rosebridge.

Email or call 01204 300010 to speak to us today.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning, tax planning or will writing.


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