How to Handle Personal Tragedy

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Throughout life, the unexpected happens. One moment you’re carefree not worrying about what the next day will bring and then it all comes crashing down on you. Personal tragedy rears its ugly head without giving you enough time to assemble your safety net, leaving you bloodied and bruised on the floor with emotions you have no experience in being able to process or cope with.

Sudden break ups, divorce, death amongst friends and family, and job loss. Situations that are associated with the saddest and most distressful times of our lives that we are not taught or well equipped to deal with. We all find ourselves in the deep end at times, feeling at a intense loss of how to move forward and confusion of how to transition out of a black hole that you are thrown into unwillingly. Know tat you are not alone and there are ways you can make it through the hardest moments of life, coming out stronger in the end.

Give Yourself a Break

Take a step back and deal with your loss the way you want to. There is no right or wrong way to go through a gut wrenchingly difficult situation and no one is judging you for doing anything other than putting yourself first.

Give yourself a break and remove the pressure you feel to ‘get over it’. Loss in any form is followed by a grieving stage that you must go through to come out of the other side having accepted and understood the reasons, whether you agree or not, that you now have a new ‘normal’.

It’s hard, it’s painful and feeling alone is normal, just prepare to take it easy, day by day and step by step you will find it easier to adjust when you are ready to embrace your new life, even if the thoughts of that makes you want to physically throw up at the very beginning…

Working From Home

To be able to embrace your true feelings, you need space and you need time to yourself to slowly start to process what has happened. No one likes the thought of going into the office only to be found crying at your desk every 10 minutes with the question of ‘are you ok?’ from co-workers, which inevitably makes the situation worse.

If you face loss, be honest with your boss/employer in what you are going through. No one will argue with you if you explain that you are having a tough time, everyone experiences loss differently and it’s down to you to create your plan to cope and see it followed through.

Take some time out of the office and work from home. That way you can simultaneously have a cry whenever you want/need whilst getting through your ‘to do’ list and shamelessly have a glass of wine to help you through it all. You need time to acknowledge and let your feelings out, doing that in privacy in the comfort of your own home is the best way to start your journey in overcoming the adversity you are facing.

Assemble Your Tribe

No one wants to be alone during times of loss even though you may feel a true sense of despair at the thought of socialising or being around others.

When loss occurs, assemble your tribe. Reach out to those you feel most comfortable talking to knowing that they will do nothing but listen. You don’t need opinions or ‘guidance’ right now, it’s about getting through the first 48 hours knowing that you have a support circle around you that cares purely about your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Make it a small group, no one who is grieving the loss of a relationship, relative or job wants to be asked every morning how they are coping by 20 different people setting them back emotionally to where they started.

You will get through this, trust the process.

Create Structure

Structure is your best friend. At a time of loss, spend as long as you need writing your ‘to do’ list.

Keeping yourself in the unknown and leaving your mind to wander will not give you the peace you need in knowing you have everything under control. Your life has just changed dramatically, do what you can to feel comfortable with what you can control and make it easy on yourself.

Structure will give you a purpose to get up in the mornings, it will give you a way of focusing and it will ensure you don’t go down an emotional black hole that will un do all of your hard work in attempting to overcome the intense grief you are feeling.

Practice Self-Love

Practice self-love and put yourself first. Whether that’s yoga, a mani-pedi, getting a blow dry, reading your favourite book, right now it’s important to recognise that the only thing that really matters is yourself.

Your feeling of helplessness will not go away quickly so be kind to yourself and take it easy. Focus on what makes you happy and dedicate yourself fully to those self-love practices that will make things just that little bit easier to cope with.

Know that you have the strength and resilience to handle anything. Life sucks and things change even when you don’t want them to but in the end, life goes on and you just have try your best to keep going.

You will get there eventually, it’s hard but time heals all wounds.