By Robert Stitt
Grief is a very personal emotion. Just as we all handle it differently, most of us have different things in life that cause us to grieve. While one person may not have attachments to animals, another may experience extreme loss at the passing of a pet. People will grieve at the loss of a family member and others will grieve the ending of a book.
People may also share in corporate grief. Our country has been facing tragic death and senseless loss of life. From school shootings to clashes with police and life lost due to racial bias and unrest, people across our nation are facing grief much the same as they did when the planes flew into the Twin Towers in 2001.
The emotional response to loss, whether the loss is from personal events or those in the world, is known as grief. It is not something you can just turn on or off at will, so how can you deal with grief, especially that which is thrust upon us as a nation, in our daily lives?
Black Enterprise talked with Carressa J, a grief recovery specialist and founder of #GrieveWithHope, and found some great ideas to coping with grief in the workplace.
Keep the Mind Clear. We know that the world probably didn’t get better overnight and the news media does not make its money by selling sunshine, so avoid it in the morning. This goes for social media too. Most of your friends don’t share uplifting messages any more than the media does. Meditate or listen to something spiritual and uplifting in the morning, instead.
Get some sun. In addition to the multiple benefits of vitamin D, getting into the sun just makes people feel better. Get away from the desk, cubicle, or workstation, and head outside for a break or lunch. The sunshine is a great way to lift the spirit.
Tell Your Boss. If you are grieving, don’t try to pretend you are not. Let your boss know what is going on, they may be able to help you work through things. From adjustments in workload, schedules, and leave to simply being an understanding ear, keep them in the loop. Even if all they do is give you a nod, it beats them assuming your work is slipping or there is something else going on with you.
Take leave. If you simply can’t function at work, take some time to work through things. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to take personal leave, but other times sick leave may be the right option – especially if you are seeing a counselor. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, so give yourself permission to work through your feelings.
Left unchecked, grief can consume you. Don’t let it. Take it easy, don’t try to handle it on your own, and get the support you need.