Coping with Loss: 7 Practical Ways to Move Forward

If you’ve just lost someone you love, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by grief and sadness. You may also feel anxious or angry, or guilty about something you did or didn’t do when your loved one was alive. These feelings are normal and should be allowed to exist because they’re a natural part of the grieving process.

Be realistic about what to expect.

  • Be realistic about what to expect. It will take time to heal, so don’t expect yourself or anyone else to be able to “fix” things right away, or get back to normal in a few days. It’s okay if you don’t want to do anything at all for a while—you shouldn’t feel guilty about that.
  • Don’t expect yourself (or anyone else) to “get over” someone’s death or move on quickly. You may never stop missing the person who died, even years later—and that’s okay! Don’t try too hard not to cry either; allow yourself time and space for your emotions without feeling like you’re not doing enough grieving because everyone else seems fine again already.
  • Allow yourself time and space for healing after a loss of any kind—don’t force yourself into activities just because everyone else seems fine again already.”

Allow yourself to grieve when you need to.

Grief is often a natural response to loss. This shouldn’t be treated as something that needs to be suppressed or ignored, but rather as an unavoidable part of recovery. It’s important to allow yourself time to grieve, whether you choose to do so privately or publicly.

When you mourn—or grieve—you can expect that your life will be impacted in some way. You may have trouble sleeping or concentrating, experience changes in appetite and mood (both up and down), have trouble remembering things, feel overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over what could have been or what should have been done differently, or even develop new interests or hobbies that help distract from the pain of loss. These are all normal parts of grief; they don’t mean there is something wrong with you if they happen during this difficult time in your life. The important thing is not how well you manage these symptoms but rather that they don’t prevent you from getting through each day without undue stress on yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally (or those around).

Keep a journal or diary.

Writing in a journal or diary is one of the most helpful ways to cope with grief. Writing is a way for us to process our feelings and thoughts and helps us make sense of them. It also allows us to reflect on past events that might otherwise be forgotten.

Writing is definitely therapeutic because it’s self-expression at its purest form: no editing or censoring allowed! You’re free to say what you mean without worrying about sounding “cool” or “hip.” In fact, writing can help you discover things about yourself that would never come out if you were speaking them aloud.

The act of writing is also cathartic because there are no right answers when it comes to processing loss—it’s all about finding what works best for you and doing what makes sense in your situation. For example, sometimes just looking back at old entries can give an insight into how far along your grieving journey has progressed since then; other times rereading certain passages might bring up unwanted emotions that need addressing; but most importantly (and regardless), writing will always remind us that we have survived this loss—and therefore anything else life throws our way should be manageable as well!

Remember your loved one in special ways.

Remember your loved one in special ways.

While it’s important to let go and move on with your life, you can keep your love for the person close by. Remembering them is a great way to honor their memory and keep their presence around you. You can do this by keeping a photo of them, an item they once owned or used often, or something that reminds you of when the two of you shared time together. If there was anything special about the way they lived or what they did in life, try remembering those things too—like how much they loved hiking or dancing—to help hold onto their spirit as well as keep yourself connected to them through time and space.

Think positive thoughts.

It’s important to focus on positive thoughts and feelings. It can be hard, but try to avoid dwelling on your loss. Instead, focus on what good is happening in your life now. For example:

  • Think of happy memories with the person you lost.
  • Write down all the things you are thankful for from this person’s life.
  • Write down all the things that have happened since their passing that has brought joy into your own life (e.g., a new job or friendship). These are just some examples of how focusing on positive thoughts can help you cope with grief and loss!

Find Support for Grief and Loss

I was talking with a friend who had experienced loss. He said that he was surprised by how much his life had changed after losing his father. He talked about how he thought he’d be able to go back to normal days later, but that didn’t happen.

He also said: “You have to stop thinking in terms of ‘normal’ and start thinking in terms of your new reality.”

Remember to take care of yourself.

It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, too. It can be tempting to neglect your own needs in the wake of a tragic loss, but it’s vital that you relearn healthy habits and routines as soon as possible. This means eating well and staying hydrated, getting some exercise every day (even if it just means taking a brisk walk), limiting alcohol consumption and other substances like caffeine and nicotine that are known to be harmful in large quantities, and getting enough sleep each night (this may mean going to bed earlier than usual), practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga when possible, talking with a therapist or spiritual adviser if you feel comfortable doing so about how your life has changed post-loss—and perhaps most importantly: reaching out for support from friends who have also been through similar experiences.

Get enough sleep and rest.

It’s important to get enough sleep and rest, as this helps your body recover from the physical and emotional stress of grief. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression and anxiety, as well as weight gain, high blood pressure, and other health issues.

If you’re having trouble sleeping or finding a routine that works for you, talk to your doctor about ways they can help. You might want to set an alarm if you have trouble falling asleep at night—or look into ways to improve your sleep hygiene such as making sure the temperature in your bedroom is cool enough (60°F or below), not watching TV before bedtime, and avoiding caffeine close to bedtime.

Eat well and stay hydrated.

Eating well and staying hydrated are important to allow your body to work properly. A balanced diet also helps you feel good, which is an essential part of coping with loss. To eat well, follow these guidelines:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Include protein at each meal (such as meat, eggs, or fish)
  • Eat foods that are high in vitamins and minerals (fruits and vegetables)
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber (whole grains)
  • Eat foods that are high in antioxidants (berries).

Coping with Loss

  • You should not try to push your feelings down or away; instead, accept them and learn how to cope with them effectively.
  • It is important to process your feelings, even if they are uncomfortable. If you do not process these emotions it can cause your body and mind to become overwhelmed.
  • The truth is that sometimes things happen in life that we have no control over, but we need to be able to manage what happens next so that we don’t get stuck in a cycle of self-hatred or guilt.

One thing you can do to help yourself is to learn how to cope with these feelings. There are many different types of coping techniques, from talking through your pain with someone else to writing about it in a journal.


Every loss is different, and you will be on your own personal journey. You might find that you need to go through many stages before you are able to start moving forward again with your life. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and try not to get lost in your grief; instead, remember that there is life after loss as well!