Sometimes facing the anguish of loss (any kind of loss) can make you feel like you’re losing your mind. It can be hard to concentrate, do everyday tasks, or manage overwhelming feelings.
Any sort of unwelcome change -- losing a loved one, health challenges, divorce, financial problems -- usually involves some type of loss. And so we embark on a journey of grieving whether we realize it or not.
I'm here to say that it’s okay to take breaks from distress.
Not only is it okay; it's actually helpful. I don't mean living in denial, as it's important to inhabit reality and to face feelings. What I have learned is that taking occasional breaks from pain can actually help us tolerate it better over time.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) offers several strategies for distracting ourselves from distress, using the acronym DISTRACT. I have adapted these skills for those who are grieving various losses. Try as many as you can and note which ones work for you (these are very individual so remember there is no right or wrong). Regular practice will make your favorites become second nature and available whenever you need them.
Essays on Grief Resilience