How to Deal With Grief While at Work

Caressa J talks tips to "grieve with hope" at the workplace

Regardless of where you live in the world, all of us in some way have been affected by the recent tragic events taking place across the country—school shootings, senseless deaths, political clashes, etc. At the same time, we’re all dealing with our very own personal challenges in our family, work, and social relationships. But how well are we really dealing with stress, especially at work—the place where most of us spend a considerable amount of time every day?  “Our natural response is to bury our heads and hearts in our emotions at home,” says a certified life coach and grief recovery specialist Carressa J. But is this the right way to cope with loss and pain?

Hope Dealer” Caressa J. launched #GrieveWithHope campaign to inspire the nation to change our attitudes, mindsets, and words used when responding to tragedies. Black Enterprise asked Caressa to share five ways our readers can #GrieveWithHope. Check out her responses below:

1. Avoid social media and news in the morning.

Getting into the right frame of mind for work is extremely important, so you want to keep the flow of emotional energy positive. Resist the temptation to pull out your phone or turn on the television for the latest news as soon as you wake up. Opt for some spiritual songs from your playlist or a positive podcast instead.

2. Get some midday sun.

Instead of taking lunch and breaks at your desk, be sure to get outside. Find a bench and soak up some rays. Meet some friends to catch up. Sunshine lifts the spirit, so be sure to get plenty of it.

3. Walk it out.

Take a time out if you need it. If you need a 30 minute break to cry, jot your thoughts and feelings down in a journal, or just be—do that. Give yourself some grace to sit with and sort through your feelings. Step away as often as you need to.

4. Use your leave.

If you have unused vacation or sick leave, now is the time to use it. Plan a stay-cation or get away, if you can. The point is to be out of office until you can gather your thoughts and emotions and feel ready to deal with people closely again.

5. Talk to your boss.

Let your manager know what’s going on. They may be willing to work with you to adjust your schedule or assignments or approve some unscheduled leave. Keep them in the loop as you work through things.

Don’t allow your grief to consume and overwhelm you while you ease back into your work life and responsibilities. Be easy with yourself and allow others to support you along the way.

Caressa J’s debut book, The Ultimate Love Affair, will be available worldwide in 2016.