Available for Interviews: Dr.Colleen Cira
Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma and has worked with hundreds of people struggling with mental health issues.
What Dr. Cira can say in an interview on Managing Grief:
It is not an overstatement to say that millions of people have experienced intense grief over the past year. Increasing our understanding of its presence in our lives, and knowing how to cope and respond to it in a healthy way is the best course of action.
1. Grief is intense, comes in waves, and is a long process (Stages of Grief) so it can very easily take a toll on one’s health and well-being.
2. Grief can feel and look a lot like depression, (https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-the-dsm-5-got-grief-bereavement-right/) https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-the-dsm-5-got-grief-bereavement-right/ so some of the physical symptoms are the same. These can include fatigue, aches, and pains, difficulty breathing, headaches, and forgetfulness.
3. The best way to manage grief and loss is to recognize that what is happening and be kind, gentle, and patient with yourself. Here’s what you need to know:
- A loss is cumulative, meaning that the current loss (of a partner, a job, etc.) rips off the scabs of the other losses in our life. So we’re not just dealing with whatever loss is most present for us, we’re also simultaneously dealing with all of the other losses and grief that we have experienced in our lives. This is tough stuff.
- It is also important to acknowledge the grief that this brings up from your past. For instance, if you lost a partner or family member in the past, the loss of a job may cause you to think more about this past experience. Rather than push those feelings or memories away, it’s important to let them happen and talk with someone you trust about whatever is coming up for you.
4. The only way to “get over” grief and loss is to MOVE THROUGH it. Here are a few ways that you can do that:
- Talk with someone who cares. Talk about it with loved ones who are supportive of you and able to sit with your pain rather than try to “fix” it.
- Move your body as much as possible. Go to the gym, get out in nature and take a walk, or go for a run. Exercise produces feel-good hormones that will give your mood a boost.
- Be kind to yourself. Eat nutritious foods that you enjoy, get some extra sleep, and do things that you enjoy. Above all, remind yourself that this is a long, but normal process and it’s Ok to feel bad for a little while.
- Seek support. If it’s difficult to function despite doing all of these things, you might need some extra support, which is perfectly okay! Find a grief support group or seek out an individual therapist.
Interview: Dr. Colleen Cira
Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D., received both her Masters and Doctorate from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois. She’s the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC, a boutique group practice specializing in Women and Trauma with locations in Chicago and Oak Park.
She was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Chicago Making a Difference,” by Today’s Chicago Woman. Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.
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