Managing loss and grief
Signs to look out for
- Feeling sad or down, frequently crying and experiencing mood swings
- Feeling shock or numbness
- Feeling relief and/or despair
- Experiencing disorientation
- Feeling lonely or withdrawing socially
- Suffering from forgetfulness
- Feeling helpless
- Increased anger, frustration and/or confusion
- Sense of going ‘crazy’
- Increased smoking, drinking or drug use
- Thinking of harming yourself or dying
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Sleeping difficulties
- Eating more or less
- Experiencing physical health problems
Loss and grief
There is no ‘right’ way to deal with grief; everyone experiences it in different ways. Often a person who is grieving will experience a wide array of emotions, both positive and negative. The process isn’t linear, and doesn’t have a set time limit or intensity.
If you are grieving a loss it’s vital you prioritise looking after yourself. Give yourself the space to reflect and explore your thoughts and feelings. Allow time to heal without setting unrealistic goals and deadlines. Delay making major life decisions or changes. Find ways to release stress; doing something creative, listening to music or spending time with loved ones can all help relieve the pressure. Consider meditation, relaxation or deep breathing techniques – our counsellors can provide information and tips on implementing these strategies.
It’s important to get adequate rest, nutrition and exercise. Sometimes people who are grieving experience the physical symptoms of stress, so please check in with your doctor or the UTS Medical Service if you have any health concerns.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Gathering and using social support is essential, as grief can be heightened by a sense of isolation. Most people find that they feel better after they speak about how they are feeling. Talk to your friends or family members about what you’re going through, or consider joining a support group for people who have experienced a similar loss. Many people have found that it can be particularly helpful to speak with people who have gone through a similar experience.
You may find that your study is affected during times of loss and grief. Consider speaking with your lecturers or tutors about the impact of grief on your workload. If you need support or strategies to help with managing your grief and your studies, please make an appointment with a counsellor.
Resources and services
- National Association for Loss & Grief (NSW) (opens an external site): Call: 6882 9222. One of the leading providers of loss, grief, bereavement and trauma education in New South Wales.
- Lifeline (opens an external site): Call: 13 11 14. A national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- Mensline (opens an external site): Call: 1300 78 99 78. A dedicated service for men with relationship and family concerns.
- Reach Out (opens an external site): Australia’s leading online youth mental health service.
- The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (opens an external site): Education, counselling, research and clinical services for those working in and affected by experiences of grief and bereavement.
- Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF 106kB, 1 page) – Grief and Bereavement.