Coping with grief at work: 3 suggestions to help

funeral leave

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it’s likely the grief is still fresh and affecting your day to day life. But at some point, you have to pick up the pieces and head back to work.

How you handle this feeling in the workplace will play a huge role in how quickly you heal and return to your normal self, after suffering loss.

Grief is a natural response to any form of loss and affects everyone differently. Some people can grieve for a few days and for others it can last months or even years. The essential thing for you to do is to recognise it as a process and allow it to happen.

Going back to work is obviously going to be difficult, but we’ve put together three suggestions that can hopefully help you to get back on your feet.

Let others help you

If there is ever a time in your life when you shouldn’t be scared or ashamed to ask for help, it’s now. Not only do others understand your situation, but they want to help you. Instead of closing yourself off and trying to assure everyone that everything’s fine, be honest with your co-workers – they’ll be more than happy to help pick up your workload and allow you to focus on yourself. You may forget things and make mistakes, so allowing someone to help will benefit you greatly.

It might be a case of allowing someone to help you with putting together a funeral, handling probate and distributing the estate as said so in the will. Work colleagues can be a huge help for thing such as this as they have no emotional attachment to the deceased and may be able to help steer you into making smart decisions.

Focus on doing things

Your first thoughts might be to shut down and do nothing, but being productive can be great for the healing process. By focusing on performing a task, your mind may shift your mind away from the feeling of distress for a period of time and allow you to regain a little stability in your life again.

But don’t confuse doing with ignoring, pushing emotions away and staying behind at work so you don’t have to experience your grief is something different. Work should only be used as a temporary distraction. You need to let grief run its course, but try and balance it with tasks you’re usually familiar with.

Understand your benefits

Many companies offer benefits to people who are going through personal issues, including grief. Take advantage of this if they’re there for you and don’t be afraid to ask whether you have such benefits offered to you – the worst that can happen is your HR department or boss will say no. Regardless of whether or not they have a service in place for you, they will be able to accommodate to your needs.

If you’re heading back to work, consider these three suggestions to help make that transition back into regular routine a little easier on yourself.

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