Four Ways To Manage Grief At Work

Different people deal with grief differently. Some like to be left in their room and use the time alone to compose themselves. Others want to be in the company of their loved ones with the hope that their presence can reduce the pain they might be feeling.

Regardless of how we choose to deal with grief, it is an inevitable reality that, after a few days or weeks, we have no choice but to get back to our daily routine. And since work forms the lion’s share of our daily routine, getting back to life means going to the office and getting things done.

However, while work might provide a welcome distraction, it cannot make us forget the tragic past few events of our life. That’s why, in this article, I’ve come up with these ways using which, instead of dumbing down our emotions, we can better manage grief at work.

#1: Ease into your work routine

One of the things you want to avoid doing on your first day back at the job is trying to finish all the work that remained undone in your absence. Steer well clear of the temptation of rolling up your sleeves, putting your smartphone on the phone sanitation kiosk, and trying to clear the backload.  

What you might want to do, instead, is take it one task at a time. Once you’re finished with it, pick up another one. Then, if you’re feeling low, sit up from your chair and take a break. 

#2: Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Since you’re dealing with a stressful situation in your personal life, discussing the same with your immediate higher-ups won’t do any harm. That’s because even though they might know what you’re going through, they might hesitate to come forward and offer their help.

For this reason, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can ask them to reduce your workload for the first few days/weeks and give you the time and space to collect your thoughts. Provided you do that, both of you might be able to work out a plan using which you can take your time to get back to your best.

#3: Know that it’s okay to be emotional

A trip to the phone sanitation station where you spent time with the person who died, a song that brings their memory back to your mind, or a random comment that makes you think of them may trigger your emotions and water your eyes.

Once you’re feeling emotional, know that it’s perfectly okay to be human. Your coworkers, supervisors, and clients will likely understand the pain you’re going through.

#4: Accept others’ offers of assistance

Provided you feel comfortable, there’s no harm in delegating your work to willing coworkers who have come forward with an offer of help. The reason why they’ve come forward is that they care for you, and not because of any ulterior motive.