How to Deal with Grief without Drugs or Alcohol

How to Deal with Grief without Drugs or Alcohol

Friends and family members can help a person get through the initial stages of grief

Grief can cause a wave of unexpected and seemingly unmanageable emotions that can often tempt a person to abuse drugs or alcohol in order to cope. Finding healthy coping mechanisms to manage grief helps Sacramento residents avoid the risk of falling into drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. For people in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, healthy coping mechanisms are especially important to avoiding relapse. There are numerous healthy ways to deal with grief without drugs or alcohol and they can include the following:

  • Find support – The initial response to grief for most people is to become isolated and removed from normal surroundings. However, one of the most beneficial things to do when trying to cope with grief is to seek out support from others. Friends and family members can help a person get through the initial stages of grief in a healthy way. Telling friends and family members how they can help and allowing them to provide assistance can take large amounts of pressure away so that time can be spent focusing on the grieving process.
  • Practice healthy eating, exercising and sleeping – In many cases people struggling with grief may turn to unhealthy eating habits, stay inactive and keep unusual waking hours. These unhealthy practices only worsen the grieving process and pose a risk of allowing depression and substance abuse to arise. Eating a balanced and healthy diet, staying active even if it is just walking through the neighborhood on a daily basis and keeping a normal sleep schedule can help Sacramento residents manage grief better.
  • Be creative – Finding a creative outlet such as painting, gardening or writing are all healthy ways to pay tribute to a lost loved one and allow an outlet for emotions that may seem otherwise inexpressible. Creating things through emotional mediums can help a person struggling with grief to find peace.
  • Be expressive – Allow feelings and emotions whether they are positive or negative to be expressed during the grieving process. Holding emotions in and allowing them to build up can create unhealthy bursts of emotions further down the road. Be expressive and allow emotions to be released.
  • Be aware of grief triggers – Understand that certain dates, times or places will trigger sudden emotions that could potentially lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms if they are not planned for. Plan ahead and be prepared for grief triggers in order to avoid using unhealthy copings mechanisms.
  • Seek out counseling – Sometimes the feelings of grief do not decrease or become easier to deal with, in which case professional grief counseling may be a beneficial tool. People can develop what is known as complicated grief which often requires professional help to manage.

Practice patience and allow the grieving process to run its course. Grief will most commonly decrease over time and become easier to manage. If temptations to use drugs or alcohol in order to cope become increasingly more present, consider seeking out professional help.

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