Almost every person in the world at one time or other experiences events that can be considered a major loss. Loss and change is very personal and varies from person to person. Loss affects everyone in different ways and it is possible to experience any range of emotions and behaviours. There is no right or wrong way to feel and act.

If you are struggling due to recent losses, there are a number of things you could do that may be helpful:

Take each day at a time. There will be good days and bad days. Try to focus on each day at a time and set yourself small, achievable goals.

Develop coping strategies that work for you. Self-help resources, such as Moodjuice, can help you to work through difficult feelings and learn coping skills.

Make a memory box. You might find it helpful to fill a box with items which prompt happy memories, these can to help lift your mood, when you feel down. The box can contain anything that is meaningful and helpful to you, for example: a favourite book, quotes, photos, letters, poems, notes to yourself, a cuddly toy, a perfume, or a smell that’s important to you.

Learn your triggers. It is normal for certain things to trigger difficult feelings or painful memories about the loss. By taking note of what causes your mood to change, you can gradually learn how best to cope with triggers when they happen. You can try tracking your feelings using a  mood diary

Let others know how you’re feeling. Tell people what you find helpful and let them know when you are finding things difficult. It’s okay to ask others to be with you if you need them.

Seek support. If you’re not already receiving support or don’t feel the support you have is helpful look for additional resources. Support could include a group of people in a similar circumstance or talking to a therapist.

Try group activities. This can be a good way to connect with other people, you don’t necessarily need to talk about how you are feeling but you are connecting with other people and doing something that you enjoy.

It is important to remember that support is available; you never have to struggle alone. Your GP is often a good place to start, or try looking into local resources like your local Mind service. If you would like more information on coping with loss and change, you can attend our online Living Well course by visiting www.mindinmidherts.org.uk

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