Everyone is managing some sort of battle, am I right? If it's not personal, it's professional; if it's not professional, it's political. Left unchecked, our varying emotional states can lead us to a place of feeling like 'It's always something.' In her groundbreaking book, Option B, Sheryl Sandberg writes that "grief is a universal human experience." We are all connected, for we will at some point all face these complicated challenges.
So how do we manage what feels like a constant state of frustration, disappointment, bitterness, anger or grief? Grief management is a phrase I use to describe the barrage of feelings that we as modern human beings must master in order to survive day to day.
In my own experience, as well as in my business of helping others get through their grief, I've found several helpful keys to getting through challenges with success. Below are three that are easy to implement with little to no effort.
No Shame in Grief
First, we should identify and release any shame that we hold that is tied to grieving. We must learn to let go of false ideas that tell us we should be able to somehow control the sadness that may persist or creep into our days just by thinking them away or using other distractions. Instead, we should seek to normalize the emotional life within us by talking through it with others. Have a conversation about how you are feeling with a close friend, trusted advisor, family member, a life coach/counselor. In sharing our stories, we provide hope and strength for others as well as align with the courage within us.
Disconnect From Others and Reconnect to Self
Second, we must adopt a practice of disconnecting from time-to-time. We can sometimes allow in negative influences that are counter intuitive to our healing process through our constant participation in social media, being in the know and also trying to keep up with 'the Jones'.
Instead, create healthy routines that involve reading, enjoying the outdoors, or playing cards with friends. Let go of spending excessive time focusing on the latest headlines, what's trending online, or what country is creating a small army to take over Mars. You can manage your emotional state and be not only happier, but also healthier, when you focus and enjoy the immediate world around you. Take that walk in the park in your neighborhood, stop by and visit with a friend or just sit on your patio and enjoy a cool breeze.
Make Life More Manageable
Lastly, a key to overcoming day-to-day negatives is through adopting ways to simplify your life. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by personal obligations, work happy hours, or attending three children's birthday parties on a Saturday. Too much on your activity calendar can increase the feeling of overwhelm, especially when you are facing an emotional challenge. Get comfortable with being selective with your time. Know when to say 'No' in order to have enough room for yourself. There is no reason to feel shame when you decline an invitation.
Another way to simplify your life is to declutter your space. Whether at home or in the office, your space speaks volumes to your emotions daily. Do you really need everything you see around you?
Minimalism encourages you to let go of things that could be cluttering your physical and mental space. As you are healing from a particular loss, simplifying your life can clear mental and emotional space to help you process complex emotions.
Life is challenging. But with open hearts and shared solutions, we can make it through this maze of happy times and sadness together, one day at a time.