Grieving call be all-consuming
Whether from the loss of a loved one, divorce, or a lost deal, grief can often feel painful. It becomes all-consuming and emotionally traumatic. Death, especially that of a loved one, can leave us feeling devastated, angry, lonely, upset, guilty, and hurt. Anyone faced with a significant loss feels as though part of them has been torn away. It is a challenging time for anyone. It can be tricky if you are running a business, or your work is demanding.
Trying to run your own business while dealing with grief can take a toll on one’s emotional and physical health alike. Maintaining your everyday life while processing the reality of losing a loved one is a challenge. It can require a temporary change of your lifestyle.
Painful Experience With Grief
I have experienced this with the death of my mom at the end of November. One month before, I was visiting her. I was doing a photography class and took a picture of her. (She hates for anyone to take her photo.) I teased her about it, and finally, she agreed I could use it. Within two weeks, we received the diagnosis that she had pancreatic cancer. Two weeks later, she was gone.
Needless to say, that photo has become incredibly valuable to me. It drives home the sad fact that as long as we are mortal, death and grief are inevitable. And despite being a painful experience, grieving is a natural way for us to grow stronger and more resilient.
Vicki Harrison reminds us that:
Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.
Therefore, it is essential to talk about the pain and allow ourselves to heal gradually. Have a support system of people who care about you. I have an incredible friend who regularly asks me how I am doing. Sue, thank you for watching out for me.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are healthy ways to deal with the grieving process.
Today let us learn some ways to cope with grief and anger and minimize its impact on our business.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Talk About the Pain
Most people tend to be embarrassed by their grief. You will find in most organizations people are afraid to ask about grief or bring a topic around it for fear of making the other person feel bad. A business owner may feel to hide it from their team for fear of judgment and wanting to protect themselves. However, opening and talking about grief is the best thing to do.
Take time to talk with your team. Seek team member support on your to-do list. You may need to take time to reorganize. Grieving is human. Sharing with your team, friends, and family about your pain will provide you with a robust support system and keep your business productive.
Number Two. Take Care of Yourself
Grief is a unique process that looks different for everyone, making it difficult to navigate and understand. It is essential to take time and process the loss. Give your emotions the time and attention they need. Don’t shove them away because this can have a damaging impact on your healing process. For some people, grieving might look like sitting, listening to music, eating nutritious food, running, and reflecting on their feelings. For others, it might involve journaling.
Spending time with friends and family may help some people process their emotions, while others may crave quiet time alone. Sometimes the feelings can get overwhelming, and even self-care becomes a challenge. In such cases, don’t be ashamed to seek professional help to guide you through your grief.
Be encouraged by this quote from Ernest Hemingway:
“Night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, every thing will get better and sun will shine brighter then ever.”
Number Three. Be kind.
It is essential to be kind and patient with yourself as you go through grief. Grief is not a linear process. You will experience waves of different emotions at different times. For instance, some days, you will have no problems meeting all the deadlines and feeling energetic throughout the day. Other days you may be hit with painful feelings of anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and sometimes a sense of shock. These reactions are natural.
If you accept these feelings rather than brush them away, you will slowly get stronger and start healing.
Go slower, reflect, give yourself grace! Catch yourself if you criticize yourself for forgetting something or not meeting the expectations of those around you. Grief isn’t easy.
But if you continue being kind to yourself, you will pull through and find healing one day. My team has to remind me occasionally to stop and rest!
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Evaluate Business Objectives
Reflect and think about your business and where you want to take it. Consider your business’s mission and objectives and how the external environment changes how you can deliver on your promise to your clients.
Number Two. Simplify Your Work
Delegate some responsibility and workload to your team. Suppose you do not have a team to offload work. In that case, it may be worth considering the help of virtual assistants and freelancers for a couple of months to support your business. These temporary team members can free up your time and reduce stress.
Your Action Item
Running a business while going through grief can be challenging. There are times one may feel overwhelmed and want to give up. But be patient with yourself.
Set aside time every day for reflection. Have honest conversations with your clients and team about your plans to deal with grief and how you will run the business.
I have fantastic clients who listened when I needed an ear. My team has given me grace when I needed space and is wonderfully supportive.
How have you handled grief in your business or workplace?
Do you need help? Please email [email protected] to set up a time to talk.