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How to cope with loss when you live alone - 5 ideas to help you feel better

 We don't know just how we'll react after losing someone close to us (Shutterstock)

Nobody knows just how they will react after losing someone close to them.

We will all be affected by grief at some point – something that has proved all too true for many people as a result of the pandemic.

There is of course no “right” or “normal” way to grieve – everyone will experience their own emotional journey following a bereavement.

"We shouldn’t be putting pressure on ourselves to experience a certain sensation – like anger or acceptance – at a certain time," says Andy Langford, clinical director at Cruse Bereavement Care.

"Instead, we should be giving ourselves time and space."

But it can be particularly hard when you live alone. Here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Keep talking

One thing that can give comfort is talking about your feelings with friends or family, so it’s important not to become isolated.

  • Stay connected

Use video and phone calls and social media to stay in touch. Arrange times to chat with people – having this in your diary can add something to look forward to and purpose to your day.

  • Stick to a routine

As much as possible, try to get up at the same time each day, and prepare and eat meals when you normally would. If you can, get outside to exercise.

  • Don’t be too ambitious

Set yourself manageable tasks. Sometimes that will simply be getting out for a walk. Getting the balance right between being busy as a distraction and taking the time to focus on your grief is key.

  • Look after your health

Maintaining healthy habits for your physical wellbeing can help with your emotional welfare. As you focus on looking after yourself and practice self-care, remember that your GP will be able to offer advice on coping with bereavement

  • Reaching out to the bereaved

It’s very important to reach out and offer assistance, or simply a listening ear. You could offer to help with shopping or preparing a meal for them, or suggest they set up a regular phone or video call with you.

Don’t assume they won’t want to talk, even if you’re not sure what to say. Just letting someone know you are there if they need you can make a big difference.

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