Stay connected with other family members – The last thing you need is to be isolated and alone. You need other people at this time more than any other. Contact with others is particularly important in the first six months following a loved one’s suicide. Note, grief is pretty messy at times.
Stages of Grief: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Updated Cycle. Grief does not flow linearly from one stage to another. The cycles can be circular moving from Shock to Anger or Denial. Your response will be influenced by many factors. Do not judge yourself by you reaction of others. Everyone grieves in their own time and own way. Trust your process, get help, stay connected. Isolating yourself slows, delays or perhaps even prevents the grief process. Recognize that these feelings are real. Your job is to acknowledge and allow them, even if they are painful, scary or make you anxious.
isted here are a few websites that may be helpful for suicide survivors:
Article: Harvard Site on Aftermath of Suicide
There are many apps and choices for ways to manage your anxiety, depression, pain, stress and health. The trends are quite clear that technology is putting more responsibility in your hands to monitor, assess and treat manage many physical and mental conditions. Diabetes, hypertension, smoking cessation, and obesity just to name the major contributors of illness and death. Some of the top rated apps for helping yourself include the following:
- Stop, Breath, and Think
- T2 Tracker
- Cook + Cure
40 Health Apps to Consider Find what you deem most beneficial for your health, mind, body, working out or just to know heart rate or how to meditate. Make technology your friend to help you relax, manage stress and improve your health.
When addressing a traumatic event in your life that has been a secret, avoided or too terrifying to confront, there are some essential elements to consider to help yourself feel safe. Vulnerability, boundaries, and empowerment are crucial when you have been abused. This posting relates to all person's that have been violated in some way. Sharon Martin, LCSW developed the list on the right to provide guidance for developing healthy boundaries. When sexual, physical or verbal abuse happens at an early age, there is no chance to protect yourself or even understand that it is a violation, which is NOT YOUR FAULT. Your recovery and sense of power to take control of yourself, relationships and emotions depends empowering your thoughts, actions and choices to protect yourself, create a sense of safety, and trust your instincts when your gut tells you "danger." As a child, you were violated, which made you confused, fearful and damaged your ability to trust, feel safe or protected. Taking your power back means saying no, recognizing your limits and dealing with personal safety. To survive any trauma, the mind has means to dissociate from the experience, however, this causes problems over time when you want to connect intimately with someone else. To recover from abuse, there are some essential elements to enhance resiliency:
- Re-connection to your body, emotions, sexuality and physical touch
This link will get you to it. Trauma Informed Care Resources
In a recent series of articles on happiness, I found a comfort in the profound simplicity to elevate and influence happiness in your life. Also noteworthy is that the first and foremost elements have to do with your thinking. Negative thinking to be precise. Being a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) , I found the concepts to be helpful in demonstrating a methodology to combat negative thinking and how this influences your feelings and subsequent behavior. Tara Parker-Pope, the author was really on target with how to examine what you need to do or avoid to help your happiness. A quote from her article: "Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life." Let's start with mind.
- Conquer negative thoughts--replace them with positive thoughts & images
- Rescript your life--you can take time to rewrite your story focusing on gratitude
- Work on optimism
- Hang around positive people--who we associate with influences our mood
- Play more
- Create positive memories
- Get active with your body
“Friends can exert a measurable and ongoing influence on your health behaviors in a way that a diet never can.”
(click on the link for the full article) NY Times Article