Most of us have dealt with grief at some point in our lives. It comes unwelcomed when we lose a friend, family member, or even pet. Dealing with grief can be very challenging. It can make every part of your life feel less enjoyable and less meaningful.

However, it’s important to remember that grief is a temporary process. It won’t feel like it does initially for the rest of your life. Regardless, if you’re an older adult who’s grieving, there are things you should know and things you can do to make the process easier on yourself. Continue reading to learn about them.

Understanding Grief

First, it’s important to understand how grief is supposed to play out. Psychologists have found that grief is a five-stage process. These stages are:

  1. Denial and isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

That being said, everybody processes grief differently. You may encounter these stages in a different order or zoom past some altogether. It’s helpful to simply understand that grief occurs in stages and that, over time, you will move closer and closer towards acceptance.

How to Cope with Grief

Grief is a natural process that typically plays out on its own in time. However, there are also actions that you can take to make this process easier on yourself.

First, seek out caring people. Try to find relatives and friends who are able to understand your feelings of loss. Or, join a community support group for others who are dealing with grief. Being able to share your pain with others is one of the best ways to recover from it.

Additionally, try to hold off on making any major life changes in the early days of your grieving process. You need to give yourself time to adjust to your loss before you make major decisions about your life. Making important decisions while grieving can lead to outcomes that you wouldn’t choose if you were feeling better.

Finally, you should also prioritize taking care of your health. Be sure that you’re eating well, getting some exercise, and getting plenty of rest. Doing this will help you feel batter physically, which can have a big effect on your mental state.

When is Grief Something More?

Grieving is a natural process. However, it can also turn into a more serious mental health issue such as depression. That being said, it’s often challenging to identify when the natural grief cycle becomes a bigger issue. Here are some signs that you can look for to verify whether what you’re feeling requires more attention:

  • You don’t feel any better even after enough time has passed
  • Your emotions are getting in the way of your daily life
  • You have thoughts of suicide
  • You’re no longer able to find joy in the things you used to love doing

If you’re feeling some of these things, be sure to seek out the help of a trained psychologist or psychiatrist. They can provide you with the support that you need to get back to the old you.

You may be able to use your Medicare health insurance to get the mental health assistance you need. If you’re unsure about your coverage options, consider reaching out to one of Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents.

They’re Medicare experts who can tell you more about your coverage options for mental health screenings and therapy. You can get started today by filling out this form or giving us a call.