How the Art of Journaling Can Help You Cope with Losing a Loved One
After the burial or cremation services, you try to get back to your routine. But, as you live your new normal with an absent loved one, that’s when the feeling of loss usually strikes with a vengeance. When the funeral songs have been sung, and the fanfare is over, the feelings of emptiness set in. How can you cope with this devastating loss? Many say that journaling or the art of writing your thoughts on paper can help. Learn more about it below:
Working Through Difficult Emotions
It is difficult to cope with the loss, especially if the incident is still fresh. Remember, take your time because everyone grieves and heals at a different pace. Despite support and comfort from family, friends, or even a therapist, you may still struggle with your intense emotions.
One helpful way to work through these ill feelings is writing therapy or journaling. This healing treatment lives up to its name and is as simple as it sounds. With an old-school pen and paper, the act of writing can help you grieve as it helps you unleash your inner thoughts while stimulating several of your senses.
But, of course, if you don’t feel like writing by hand, using your laptop or smartphone will also work.
Enjoy the Benefits of Unburdening Heavy Feelings
Many psychologists promote writing therapy as it proffers many long-term benefits. First, it can help you physically as it keeps you occupied. Instead of breaking down and crying, having your hands’ move will transfer your energy to something productive.
Most of all, it provides mental support when coping with a loss because sharing your unfettered thoughts in a journal is stress-relieving. In addition, the journal is a safe space where no one will judge or criticize you.
Besides, writing is not expensive, providing easy access for anyone who needs release. It provides you the freedom to do what you want to help you heal. You can write quotes, talk about feelings, share memories, or even doodle. This process will differ for each person, and you set the pace. Most of all, writing fosters personal growth and improvement, which you need in your journey towards healing.
Helpful Journaling Hints
If you want to start your journal to help cope with your grief, check out these helpful hints. Following them will make it easy for you to maintain your journaling routine and make it a habit. Use these ideas to jumpstart your writing therapy:
- Be Yourself
Don’t feel discouraged if you are not the best writer in the world. You don’t have to be a journalist, author, or even poet to write. The beauty of this craft is it is meant for YOU. So, if you don’t feel like sharing your thoughts, you don’t have to. You get the freedom to express your innermost thoughts because no one has to see your work. So, don’t bottle up your thoughts and emotions. Instead of letting them eat you up, write them down and let them go to help you manage your stress.
- Make Time For It
To make journaling a habit, you must make time to write. You can do it during your lunch break or at night when everyone in the house is asleep. The choice is yours because you should pick the time you feel most comfy with. Moreover, it will help you stay consistent in writing. With each passing day, you will notice that writing becomes easier, and you feel more relaxed. Writing is akin to a muscle, so the more you flex it, the more you improve. Hence, continuously writing eases your worries and processes emotions.
- Set Clear Intentions
Always start with a clear purpose and keep it in mind in your writing practice. This will help you stick with a writing routine. You can opt to write special memories to recall them later, or you can pen down your grievances. No matter what you decide, the outcome on the page will always be beneficial for you in the end.
- Beat Writer’s Block With Prompts
If you feel uninspired, you can use what most professional writers do. Use writing prompts to stimulate your creative juices. Check out these examples:
- Write the departed a letter and find closure.
- Share a funny memory or poignant travel anecdote.
- Pick a symbolic object and explain why this matters to you both.
- Describe a random act of kindness you did in the past.
Take Time to Reflect on the Words
Make it a habit to read your old entries. It is a great way you can reflect on your life and observe how you’ve grown. In addition, it can help you understand yourself and how you feel about your new normal without your deceased loved one at your side.
Writing is an intimate endeavor that offers therapeutic benefits. So when you suffer from the loss of a loved one, grab a pen and diary. Pour your heart into journaling to help you mourn and cope. Besides, looking back at your past entries will help you heal and move forward. And living a happy life is the best way you can honor the memory of the deceased.