What do you do when you need a new refrigerator? Maybe check out reputable stores or ask a friend for a recommendation? Look for sales and quality information? Go online to read reviews and peruse information that can help you make a wise purchase that will make your life easier for years to come?
Similar steps can help with any important purchase or decision, including how you handle your grieving process. How can you find a good counselor? What books and support groups might work best for you? Here are a few tips to help you with your research on grief, healing, and recovery.
- Take your time. You may not feel like gathering information after the loss of an important person in your life. Use a journal or notebook to write down questions you want to ask or ideas about the kind of help you need. Then, on days when you feel stronger, tackle one of the following steps at a time.
- Who can help? Think about what kind of professionals and which of your contacts might be what you need. Doctor? Mental Health professional? Family members or friends? Local clergy or support groups? Online resources? It helps to know what you are looking for before you begin your research, but know that you can change anything about your plan as you go along.
- Do something to build you your strength and sense of peace every day. These things are often simple and may not seem like they would help much, but they do. Exercise, meditation, naps, a walk in the park...the list is long. There is something for everyone.
- Look for one thing at a time. For example, if you feel a support group would be worth a try, see what is available locally by asking your doctor or local mental health center or hospital for a list of groups that meet nearby. Often these are free, divided by type of loss or type of need, and sometimes held in churches or community centers. Call the person who is listed as a contact for the group you are interested in to get a sense of what the group is about, whether it is open to new members, and other information. Give it three tries. If you go three times and feel it is not working for you, move on to the next group on your list.
- When it comes to books, counselors, or online organizations, look for these things: independent positive reviews from people who use the goods or services; three or more reliable sources that recommend these; and contacts you can email for more information. In other words, be careful who you trust. There is so much conflicting information on the Internet. It can be difficult to know what to believe. But you can always look further into what you are considering. Use advice you find if it helps you. Discard the rest.
- Libraries, Mental Health centers, and national nonprofit organizations may provide help or references.
- Look for people and groups you can trust, but trust your own instincts, too.
- Need a place to start? Check Way for Hope's Resources page here to get started.