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Pet Caregiver Support Blog…

3 Ways to Cope With Your Pet Loss

By Laura Wrublevski

We are all here to listen and honor your story about your pet loss as you share it with us.

While this experience may be new and unique to you, for us here at Day By Day, we are certainly familiar through our own similar experiences. We are passionate about the support we provide to you as you navigate through your grief.

cat-on-bench

Cat on a bench: Image from Pixabay

We also believe that with a little guidance there are many ways in which you can manage your grief on your own. Below are three coping strategies you can try.

1.  Mindfulness is the Ability to Be Fully Present

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not become overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

The benefit of mindfulness is that anyone can do it anywhere and at any time. Plus, it’s also an evidence-based practice without the pressures of having to change yourself to incorporate it into your life.

For more information and a step by step mindfulness exercise go to www.mindful.org

2.  Redirect Thoughts Away From Primal Responses

In grief, shame and guilt often rise to the surface to make their presence known. These thoughts are primal responses as a way for our body to protect itself; however, they are not always useful to us.

Losing a beloved pet may bring on thoughts like these:

  • “I should have waited longer to euthanize.”
  • “I should have known my cat was sicker than he appeared.”
  • “My grief will never be accepted by others.”

Just knowing that these thoughts go hand in hand with grief over your pet loss can help reduce the negativity you are experiencing. When you find yourself dwelling on these thoughts, remembering, recognizing, and harnessing all the positive actions you took or responses you received from others is one way to break the negativity chain.

Here is a great article by Deepak Chopra about redirecting thoughts: https://chopra.com/articles/the-art-of-redirecting-negative-thoughts

3.  Focus On What You Can Control

Our fears, worries, and concerns—commonly known as our anxieties—can take hold in our minds.

What we may not realize at first is how much time and energy we use thinking about all the things we have no control over. Even when we are armed with new knowledge about focusing instead on what we can control takes a lot of work. The benefits, though, will outweigh worrying about all those things you can’t control.

This article offers a reflective exercise to get you started.

My hope for all of you is that as you go through your pet loss grief journey you find time to be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you too have the tools within you to manage your grief. =)

 

– Laura Wrublevski is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the State of New Jersey. She is a Support Circle Facilitator for Day By Day at Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, NJ.

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