1. Lean on your family and friends. That's what they're there for, isn't it? Your friends and family aren't just there for the fun times or the holidays. They are there to be a shoulder to cry on, and to lend you a kind ear and helping hand when you need one. Open up to a close friend or family member about your pain, and make a habit of hanging out with your loved ones in relaxed/low-pressure settings. Obviously going to loud parties with your loved ones is only going to stress you out and make you feel worse, but watching a movie or sharing a meal with a close friend can make you feel better.
- If you need a lot of alone time, that's okay. Don't force yourself to be social if you don't want to be. But if you feel like you don't want to be around other people at all, then you can run into trouble.
- If hanging out with close friends really does have a soothing effect, then make a plan to spend even more time with them and to make your social calendar a bit busier than normal.
2. Find comfort in your faith. If you do adhere to a specific religion, then this can be the time to get even more invested in your faith and your religious community. Talk to your pastor, rabbi, imam, or other religious leaders to find comfort and attend services and events held by your religious group. You can meet new people who offer comfort or just spend more time focusing on your faith and your religious beliefs, which will lead you to comfort as well.
3. Join a support group. Support groups are filled with people who are suffering from similar losses and who can share their pain and understand yours. You may feel that you don't have many friends or family members to turn to because they don't know what you're really going through because they have never suffered a similar loss, no matter how well-meaning they may be. Support groups can give you access to people who are suffering in a similar way (though of course, no one can feel the exact same pain as any other person) and can help you build a new routine and get the help you need.
- Support groups aren't for everybody. If you join one and just don't feel like it's making an impact, it's okay to leave, too.
4. Get help from a therapist or a grief counsellor. Sometimes, it can be a big help to share your feelings with a professional who doesn't know you on a personal level. This can help you sort out your feelings and to get more advice from a trusted source. You may also just want to talk and can feel less restricted if you're sharing your feelings with a person who doesn't know you outside of his or her office. Don't think that getting professional help means you have problems or that you're weak; it's a sign of strength to admit that you need further help.
- Don't worry about making people feel a little more awkward or uncomfortable around you; that's only a small risk, and it's much better to put it all out in the open instead of struggling to smile through a difficult work day when you can barely force yourself to open your email.
5. Consider getting a pet. This may sound ridiculous. How can a tiny little kitty make you feel better about the death of one of your closest friends? Obviously, a new pet can't replace the person that you lost, but having a pet -- if you feel stable enough to take care of it, of course -- can make you feel better for sure. You'll find comfort in being able to cuddle with a creature who loves you unconditionally and will feel strength from being able to care for another being. Pets are shown to relieve stress, and that may be another thing you need.