February 11, 2016

Grief is the emotional reaction to a major loss.  It happens if you lose a person, pet, or thing.  It's also natural to feel pain when you lose your health, job, relationship, etc. Grief also occurs before the actual loss happens.  For example, you can start feeling the pain of a sick loved one or before a divorce.  This kind of build up helps you get ready for the main event.


There is no standard time for grieving.  People adjust to loss by taking a few months or taking more than a few years.  Grief can cause symptoms like headaches, loss of appetite, decreased motivation, and sleeping problems.  It is common to question your core beliefs and views about life.  Talking about loss or mourning (the active expression of grief) can facilitate the process.  If you start engaging in harmful habits like excessive pot use, then it may be important to speak to a professional.  


Tips to care for yourself:

  • Get enough sleep.   It will provide you with clarity.

  • Eat healthy foods.  

  • Exercise to manage the stress.

  • Comfort yourself by looking at pleasant things.

  • Stay involved with friends.

  • Join a support group.

Signs to talk with a professional:

  • Life seems meaningless.

  • You have thoughts of dying or killing yourself.

  • Crying, drinking, eating, and sleeping issues have caused a significant decline in your job or school performance. 



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Natalie A. Ma, PhD

p: 415-779-5887

f: 888-488-6423


870 Market Street, Suite 880, SF CA 94102

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