Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, it’s a time of great sadness and many will struggle to cope with the grieving process. It can have a prolonged negative impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Grief is a reaction to intense emotions and pain, we all deal with it differently and there are no right or wrong ways to grieve. Some of us will be able to grieve quicker than others, whereas some will take more time to get back to normality and a regular routine. Anger, loneliness, guilt, fear and anxiety are all natural reactions to experience the loss of someone close, and it’s not uncommon to feel depressed during the stages of grief.
There is never a good time to lose someone, and to have to cope with the emotional trauma this brings but it can be particularly difficult to deal with during pivotal moments of your life…
For example, facing grief while at University can be extremely challenging especially while under the already immense pressure of exams, essays and dissertations – not to mention being so far away from home and your family and old friends, if you live away on campus.
University can be an unforgettable experience but it is also a stressful time of life, and dealing with grief alongside this only makes it harder.
So how can one cope with grief and bereavement while at University? Well, if you’re in this unfortunate position, be safe in the knowledge that help is out there. These tips may also help you along the way…
Speak to Your Tutors
It’s important that you speak to your tutors about your situation, otherwise they may feel that you’re not coping well with your studies or you’re struggling to keep up because you can’t handle the workload.
Once they know the true situation, it may be that they offer to send over class notes for any missed lectures due to your special circumstances, or offer extensions on deadlines.
Don’t be scared to talk, and don’t be scared to ask for help. This will reduce your stress levels and make study life that little bit easier while going through the grieving process.
Talk About It
If you’re struggling to deal with day-to-day life, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family or a therapist to talk about how you feel and to help you process your emotions. A session or two of therapy could make the world of difference, and help you with the stress of University life and the raw emotion of losing a loved one.
Seek Professional Guidance
If you’re in the position where you are helping to organise funeral arrangements or things like that, don’t feel overwhelmed. Yes, there are a lot of decisions to make but there are also experts out there who can relieve the pressure and guide you through the necessary steps. Online services such as Beyond can assist you in making the right decisions, whether that be finding a funeral director or applying for funeral finance. You aren’t alone in this, and there is always someone on hand to help.
Write It All Down
Keeping a journal through this difficult time can help to ease your mind and get your thoughts and feelings onto paper. Some people find this therapeutic and an effective way of both coping with and processing emotions.
Look After Yourself
Don’t feel guilty for taking time out to practice self-care, whether that be a long, relaxing bath followed by an evening with Netflix, or taking an extended lunch break from your studies to go for a peaceful walk.
It’s extremely important that you take care of yourself physically and mentally during this tough time. Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. And don’t forget that while grief can be overwhelming, with time things do get easier. So be patient and give yourself all the time you need.
Written by : Whatuni