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WorkLife Wisdom: Overcoming Setback, Coping with Grief

When setbacks and hard times occur in your life, it can be very difficult to pick up the pieces and go on. You may, for example, find yourself suddenly facing a serious health issue, an adverse change at work, a relationship problem, financial trouble, or the loss of a loved one or pet. Although dealing with the loss can feel painful and confusing, getting some support will help you heal.

  • Take your time. It’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to react to a great loss, and there’s no need to rush grieving. Everyone copes differently—according to his or her own personalities and coping styles. Some people grieve for a few weeks, some for a month or many months, and some don’t fully work through grief for several years.
  • Remember self-care. Even though a loss may have disrupted your daily life, taking good care of yourself physically. Eating regularly, sleeping, keeping yourself hydrated, exercising, and being thoughtful about alcohol intake helps to minimize possible negative health impacts.
  • Express your feelings about the loss. Grief and loss have a powerful impact, and it helps to work through the sadness and emotion that you may be feeling.
    • Allow yourself to express your feelings—whatever they may be—to trusted family and friends.
    • Have a good cry as often as needed. You’ll likely feel better after doing this.
    • Read articles or books on coping with loss so you can identify what you are feeling and gain some new ideas on how to help yourself.
    • Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or tranquilizers to self-medicate. These will only mask the pain and could lead to problems later on.
    • Consider writing in a journal. Safely venting in a private way can help you release strong emotions and move forward.
  • Schedule a getaway. A short trip can provide a healthy break when you’ve suffered a loss, but be aware that upon your return, the pain of the situation will likely remain. However, you will have had a rest and perhaps gained the knowledge that you can enjoy some things in life again.
  • Be good to yourself. If you need some time alone, take it as often as needed. Treat yourself to some simple comforts or luxuries along the way. Be open to new interests—perhaps a new hobby or resuming an old one. Try to enjoy the good days and don’t feel guilty for doing so.
  • Seek outside support. Grief does not have to be as isolating as it seems. Look for a support group, lecture or seminar that pertains to your situation, or connect with a faith group.
  • Talk with a professional. If you are having significant difficulty dealing with a setback, or it is interfering with your relationships, you may want to talk to a professional for guidance and coping strategies.Your WorkLife Solutions Program can be a great resource.

Accessible 24/7, your FAA WorkLife Solutions Program offers many resources and services to help you and your family. Options available through the program include concierge services to help with everyday events needing your time and attention, child and elder care options, legal and financial services, telephonic and in-person counseling, and much more. Call your program at 800-234-1327, TTY Users: 800-456-4006, or log on to www.MagellanHealth.com/Member to begin accessing these services today.

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