Mental Health

5 steps to help deal with loss and grief

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Susan Devaney
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In line with National Grief Awareness Day, journalist and author of Chase The Rainbow Poorna Bell, shares her advice on how to deal with grief.          

After the death of her husband Rob three years ago, writer Poorna Bell has since shared how she’s dealing with grief. From her brilliant book, Chase the Rainbow to her honest advice on social media, Bell has started a much-needed conversation about death and grief to try to help others. 

Which is why for National Grief Awareness Day, Bell has shared her advice and what she’s learned about coping with grief. 

Be in control 

“For me, what really worked was being in control. So, I’d do the things that I really loved doing,” says Bell. 

“For you, that might be cooking for yourself every day or it might be taking yourself outside to walk the dog. But doing these things, however tiny or insignificant they may be, can be hugely important.”

Sleep is important 

“Not having enough sleep really impacts your ability to focus and to make rational decisions,” says Bell. 

“Do you know what else affects your ability to make rational decisions? Grief. So if you make sure that you’re getting about six to seven hours of sleep a night then it’ll really help to fortify you.”

Eat healthily 

“People who grieve tend to go one or two ways,” explains Bell. “They either don’t look after themselves by not eating anything – or they tend to eat too much because that’s where they get their comfort from.

“Picking foods that don’t cause your blood sugar to spike then crash can be a huge game changer.”

Don’t drink away your sorrows 

“Alcohol is a depressant, and it will affect your mood,” says Bell. “Grief is already massively affecting your mood, so you don’t want to add to it.”

Go to counselling

“Go to counselling – if it feels right,” says Bell.

“We’ve got this huge stigma around counselling, but personally speaking it really worked for me. Counselling is actually about looking forward, acknowledging what’s happened in your past and how it informs your present. But, more importantly, what lessons you can learn from it all.”

You can buy a copy of Poorna Bell’s book, Chase The Rainbow, here

Images: Instagram


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.