Going to School and Work While Dealing With Grief and Loss

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If you have ever had obligations, such as school or work, right after losing a loved one, or if that's where you are right now, this article is for you.

It may feel nearly impossible to continue on with day-to-day life or may feel like you are floating in a dream-like state, but by following our tips, you will begin to feel like yourself again and tackle those tasks head first.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sarah Lawler, LPC

Sarah Lawler, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Melvin Lee, LPCC

Melvin Lee, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Julianna Miller, LPCC

Julianna Miller, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Abigail Corless, LPCC

Abigail Corless, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Acknowledging Your Grief and Loss

After a loved one passes on, it's important to face the hard truth that they are gone and they won't be returning.

If you lie to yourself and attempt to live in a false world, the denial of the situation will only lead to much longer-lasting negative effects.

It's imperative not to suppress your emotions, let them come as they may.

Even if they happen while in school or at work, most people have lost someone near to them, so they will understand.

Simply ask to be excused and handle the situation somewhere private, whether in the bathroom or in your car.

Identify that you are in a state of grief and loss while continuing to work or school, and let yourself feel okay with your situation.

By experiencing these emotions you are handling them responsibly. 


Find an Outlet for Your Grief and Loss

When we bottle things up, as humans, we only delay the inevitable.

Running from your feelings, denying your emotions, and lying to yourself about your current mental health will have dramatic repercussions.

It's crucial to find an outlet for your emotions.

Some common outlets for emotions are journaling, talking to a loved one, creative outlets, and meditation.

If you choose to journal, just sit down with your emotions and let them flow through you.

Good memories, the truth of how you feel now, fears and general thoughts are all ways to channel your emotions on paper.

If you want to talk to someone, choose a friend, loved one, or someone you can trust.

As for creative outlets, some people choose painting classes, drawing, and creating videos or music to channel their pain when dealing with loss.

Another option is to meditate.

When you meditate, the goal is to clear your mind, remove all thoughts or emotions, and simply exist in the current moment.


How to Balance Responsibilities

While it's a very difficult situation to balance work, life, school, and relationships while dealing with grief and loss, it's something that must be done.

If you feel like laying in bed and forgetting the world, it's important to realize that many people feel this way when faced with difficult situations.

It's important to continue on, even with these difficult emotions surging inside of you.

By continuing to go to school or work, while dealing with grief and loss, you will slowly work your way back into the flow of your life before losing your loved one.

One of the first things to do when you integrate back into life is to prioritize your tasks.

Decide what are the most urgent things you need to do, these can be the ones with the smallest window of time to be accomplished or the ones that carry the most importance.

Write down a to-do list of what needs to be accomplished and try to check off the first few each day.

Sometimes the most important things can even be just showing up.

In school and in work life, attendance is usually a crucial aspect, so simply by showing up, you have already begun to win the battle that rages in your life.

If you have projects due at either school or work and they seem like giants that need to be faced, you can delegate what needs to be done into smaller and more manageable tasks.

A 5000-word essay can be broken down into five separate 1000-word sections.

A sales report that needs to be turned in at work can be spread out over a few days.

It's important to never be too hard on yourself when you are in this phase.

Consider every accomplishment a win and reward yourself accordingly.


Find Support

Reach out to professionals or other people that are in similar situations as you.

There are grief counselors available.

You can attend groups that are all dealing with grief and loss, to interact with people in similar situations.

There are many different online communities, that are there for support.

This will allow you to find shoulders to help you support the burden and not feel alone.

Remember, that by seeking help, you are showing a sign of strength and you should never view this as a weakness.

It takes a mentally strong person to admit they can't do something alone and this is something to be respected.


Remember

You are never alone when you are facing grief and loss.

You have people rooting for you and wanting to help you, even if you don't feel or see them.

Between co-workers, friends, family, and mental health professionals, you are never alone.

If you start with just showing up to school or work, while dealing with grief and loss, you have taken the first step toward your future.

Continue to live and acknowledge your loss.

Balance your responsibilities.

Try to mark at least one thing off of your to-do list every day and delegate the tasks of larger projects.

And at the end of the day, remember there are always people out there who are willing to help you.

Seek professional help if you feel it could benefit you and realize that this proves how strong you truly are.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to chat with any of our counselors, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Resources 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm

https://www.mskcc.org/news/coping-grief-7-things-remember-when-dealing-loss

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2017/10/coping-grief

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July 22nd, 2024

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