Grief is the natural emotional response to loss. This can be loss of a loved one, a pregnancy, a relationship, a comfortable way of life, a loved family family pet or even a job.

The more significant the loss, the more intense the feeling of grief will most likely be.

The response to the loss of a loved one can be intense and can leave you feeling very sad, overwhelmed or any of a range of emotional responses such as anger, irritation, overwhelm, isolation or it might just leave you feeling numb.

No two people will experience grief in the same way. It’s very personal and everyone will go through grief differently.

Some people will experience grief for days or weeks, while others might take years to work through their feelings of sadness and loss.

Grief of any intensity takes time to work through and it’s a journey that is made easier with the support of family, friends or someone else with a sympathetic ear that will take the time to talk about your loss with you when you need to.

If you have experienced a loss, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If possible talk to a friend or family member about how you are feeling. You may also be able to find support via community support groups or a specialised support group related to the type of loss you have suffered.

At times of grief, it is easy to let normal healthy diet and exercise routines slip. Grief can be all consuming and exhausting, so make a point of eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep and exercising to keep your body in good shape so your mind has time to heal.

While you are dealing with a recent loss, don’t be afraid to unload some of your responsibilities. Whether that is work, family or personal commitments, see if the people around you can lighten the load for a while. Taking the time to relax & get some fresh air and gentle exercise have been shown to help in the grieving process.

Make sure you do the things you normally enjoy, even if it’s a bit of a struggle and you don’t really feel like doing them.

Grief and depression can appear similar as they both lead to feelings of intense sadness, maybe insomnia and sometimes a change in eating patterns.

Depression also comes along with a sense of despair, emptiness and losing the ability to feel pleasure or joy in any activity and will persist for weeks or months.

If you are displaying the signs of depression for longer than a couple of weeks or your grief is getting in the way of how you normally live your life then you should seek help. Talk to a friend or family member about how you are feeling or seek professional help from a counsellor or your GP