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Coping with grief and loss

griefMany of the students, staff, and faculty in the Augsburg community have experienced losses and grief this semester. The Center for Counseling & Health Promotion encourages all members of our community to take care of themselves during these difficult times. Here are some thoughts on taking care of yourself while you grieve:

• Allow yourself time for your grief, and give yourself permission to grieve in your own way.

• Find companions for your grief journey—spend time with people who you can be real and honest with.

• Find some way to express the different feelings you are experiencing (for example, sadness, anger, guilt, fear, confusion). Some people write about their different feelings, or talk it through with someone who is a good listener; others express their feelings through music, art, or a good workout.

• Let others care for you and accept their expressions of support (even if they don’t always know the “right” thing to say).

• Take care of yourself physically—try to maintain a fairly regular sleep and eating schedule, and get some physical exercise (even just walking can be very healing).

• Be kind to yourself—now is a good time for some TLC (for example, a hot bath, a dinner out, a light movie, buying yourself some new music).

• Know that it is okay to take a break from your grief ; grief is exhausting, and it is difficult to grieve 24-7.

• Now is a good time to recommit to or explore any spiritual practices in your life that help you to connect to something bigger than yourself (for example, God, your community, nature). For more ideas, please contact Campus Ministry or a spiritual leader in your community.

• Be aware that people around you have different styles of grieving, and different cultural approaches to grief.

Article by Jon Vaughan-Fier and Beth Carlson

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