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Self-Help

Coping with Grief and Loss

Common Reactions to Loss Emotions and Feelings Sadness, yearning, depressed mood, mood changes Feelings of helplessness & loss of control Panic and anxiety Fear of death Shock, denial, numbness Guilt and shame Anger Loneliness Tearfulness, crying Relief Remorse and Regret Physical Symptoms Changes in sleep and/or eating patterns Anxiety/autonomic nervous system arousal Exaggerated startle response Increased somatic complaints or physical illnesses, such as headaches, colds, stomach aches, back pain, and hypertension Fatigue Changes in Behavior Social withdrawal and/or isolation Preoccupation with the deceased Avoiding stimuli that are reminders of the deceased Increased use of alcohol or substances Changes in activity level Changes in Thinking Poor concentration Disorientation Confusion, forgetfulness Feelings of unreality Factors That May Complicate Grieving Sometimes other circumstances affect the grieving process and the responses of the bereaved.

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Some Things to Consider About Change

Find out what you want Start small and set achievable goals Be specific Get support/accountability: Tell someone about your goal Learn how to cope when you don’t reach your goal Be flexible—no all-or-nothing thinking Think about short-term versus long-term gains when you make everyday decisions Don’t expect perfection but also don’t be too kind to yourself Pace yourself Take it a day-at-a-time.

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