From COPE Clinical Director Amy Olshever, PhD, LCSW

Have you had the experience of making it through your day only to find that you are triggered by something totally unexpected, like a song on the radio? Or something that is usually inconsequential, like forgetting your shopping list, sets you off. Or sometimes, you have no idea what has set you off but there you are, crying, feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Often, when this happens people become angry and frustrated with themselves. But this is a normal response to your grief. In order to function throughout your day, each day, through the week, you have to maintain some measure of control. And often this involves quieting, squashing or stuffing those feelings. But after a while, it can build up and boil over. Hopefully, you can allow this to happen. If you are not in a place you can do this, try to get yourself there. Find someplace safe, quiet and peaceful to allow this rush of emotion to wash up and out of you. Let yourself feel and release all of what you have been carrying around. And when it is done, for the moment, allow yourself to breathe. And know that you needed to release and relinquish what you were holding tightly inside. This was a great message that you received from your physical and emotional self: You need some self-care to work toward balancing having those feelings and letting them out so they don’t take you by surprise so often. Some options are to reach out to a friend, attend a support group, do some writing, seek out a therapist, get a massage,  or take a Yoga class. What is your plan for self-care?

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