How to Deal With the Forgetfulness That Comes With Grief

How to Deal With the Forgetfulness That Comes With Grief

After a significant loss, the grief that follows can severely impact a person's mental and emotional state.

While some people are able to grieve normally, others may experience a severe type of grief - called complicated grief- which causes several issues, including memory complications.

This memory complication is often described as grievers fog and can be overwhelming and challenging to cope with.

How, then, can you deal with the forgetfulness that comes with grief?

One way you can handle forgetfulness during grief is to write down important details at all times.

You can write down important information daily in your journal, label objects around your house, or fill your calendar with daily activities to serve as a reminder.

Also, you can establish a schedule for your daily tasks to get you accustomed to a fixed routine.

This way, you know what to expect, when, and how to plan ahead for each task.

Similarly, reducing distractions can help you increase your focus and limit forgetfulness during grief.

Focus on a task at a time and endeavor not to overload yourself. Avoiding distractions will help reduce anxiety and stress, which often contribute to memory complications.

Consider this overview to gain helpful tips on how to deal with the forgetfulness that comes with grief: 

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Write Down Important Details 

Experiencing a traumatic loss, such as the sudden death of a loved one, can cause grief-related memory loss.

Thus, in order to deal with the forgetfulness that comes with grief, it is important to pen down important information you don't want to forget.

To make this more of a habit, you can start journaling every day.

Journaling is particularly beneficial to grieving people as it can help you become comfortable with suppressed memories, process your feelings and cope with grief.

You can also write down important reminders you need to get by the day successfully.

You can make notes reminding yourself to turn off the gas, feed your pets or call a friend.

Writing down these basic details might seem silly initially; however, it can significantly help you cope with forgetfulness and save you from missing out on important tasks.

Similarly, you can write down important dates, a list of your favorites, personal information, or memories of your lost loved one you don't want to forget.

Establish Routines 

Having a systematic and structured way of doing things is an excellent way to deal with the forgetfulness that comes with grief.

You can establish daily routines, so you get accustomed to daily tasks you have to carry out at a particular time.

Routines are great for simple tasks like feeding your pets, taking medications, exercising, meal prepping, and daily hygiene habits.

Having a structured time for each of your daily events allows you to know what to expect and what comes next.

Similarly, establishing routines is particularly helpful for people suffering from grief.

After losing a loved one, the effects and impact of grief often leave the bereaved sad, overwhelmed, anxious, distressed, and uninterested in the things they used to do.

Many run on autopilot until they are drained of energy and cannot gather the strength to attend to daily obligations or even self-care.

It is thus essential to establish a daily routine after a significant loss as it will help you with memory complications and aid your return to your "normal life."

Reduce Distractions 

Focusing on one thing at a time can be difficult; however, having many distractions can cause forgetfulness and also hinder your healing process.

Thus, a practical way to deal with the forgiveness that comes with grief is to reduce distractions.

Distractions often include radios, smartphones, noisy television sets, and so on.

Continuous exposure to noise sources and other distractions can contribute to feelings of stress, disorientation, and anxiety and ultimately lead to memory complications.

Instead, surround yourself with calm and soothing noises and scents that will help you relax and feel more at ease instead of making you jittery and anxious.

If you have close neighbors or roommates, find yourself a "safe space" to retreat and calm your mind.

You can also go for a walk and take a journal to jot down important things you don't want to forget or your feelings in general. 

Give Yourself a Break 

It is normal to forget things during your grief process, so it is essential to go easy on yourself when you feel forgetful.

Giving yourself a much-needed break will help you deal with the forgetfulness that comes with grief.

The more pressure you apply to remember every detail, the more stressed and anxious you will become.

If you can't remember vital information, cut yourself some slack and take a momentary break.

Try to relax and stay calm or focus on a different activity.

Also, try to do only a few things at a time.

Do each task step-by-step, and don't multitask, as it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.

Tackle your tasks gradually and take breaks in between when you need to.

Similarly, you must go easy on yourself when attending to basic daily routines like washing the dishes or folding laundry.

If you feel overwhelmed, take deep breaths, go outside for some air and come back to your task when you feel at ease.

Remember you're not only trying to tackle forgetfulness but also healing through your grief.

Practice Mindfulness 

Several researchers suggest that practicing mindfulness helps to wind down thoughts and tune out distractions, thus improving the retention of information.

Therefore, one helpful tip for dealing with the forgetfulness that comes with grief is to practice mindfulness.

Sometimes it can be difficult to recollect new information or memories because your brain is holding on to old ones.

Mindfulness training is a form of meditation that will help improve memory recollection by subsiding proactive interference.

Also, mindfulness is beneficial for people going through grief as it helps to reduce stress, anxiety, confusion, and stress while improving compassion, focus, and concentration.

Through mindfulness, we gain the courage to face life through every moment, regardless of our experiences - grief, sadness, and joy- without stopping or avoiding the process.

Mindfulness practices to help you through your grief include journaling, meditation, mindful breathing, self-acceptance, walking, and living in the moment.

Conclusion

The death of a loved one can easily be one of the most traumatic and stressful events that can affect one's psychological, mental, and emotional well-being.

When you suffer loss, you are much more prone to sleeplessness, confusion, and shock, which can lead to memory complications.

It is thus important to get support and grief therapy to cope with the effects of grief and heal from your loss.

Here are a few tips for dealing with the forgetfulness that comes with grief; write down important details, establish routines, practice mindfulness, give yourself a break and reduce unhealthy distractions. 

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January 28th, 2023