Workplace Grief Journals: A Step Toward Emotional Healing

6 min read
Published on 15 December, 2021

A workplace can be intimidating if you're going through a crisis, personal or professional. With the added work pressure and stress, you might feel numb or indifferent towards your mental health.

Corporate wellness programs now cover a wider aspect of both the mental and physical well-being of employees. However, it is important to keep in mind that every individual deals differently with grief. Not everyone feels comfortable being vocal about their feelings or verbal consultation.

In this article, you will learn more about grief journals and how they can assist those who grieve in silence to let go.

What Is A Grief Journal?

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To keep a grief journal means writing down your deepest thoughts and feelings without fear of upsetting your loved ones or friends. There are no rules about where and how to write in a grief journal. Writing your feelings honestly is all there is to it. It is a memory book where you can record your pain and look back when feeling better.

Like a guided journal, you can track your thoughts and feelings. You can see your progress level or how far you've come along. It is a coping mechanism for many people.

And even if you haven't used a workplace journal before, you can still start and express what you have been through.

Suggested Read : How Can Managers Support Mental Health in the Workplace

Grief Journal Prompts - To Get Started

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Working through grief isn't easy. It is personal and very complex, layered with a mess of conflicting emotions together. It can be exhausting and hurting at the same time.

The stages of grief are different for every individual. How you want to deal with it depends a lot on who you are as a person. There can be many factors that can prompt you to fill in those blank pages of your journal.

Your journal can be filled with personal experiences or even happy memories that could lead you back to a nostalgic lane of suffering and loss. It could be anything that might trigger you to write it all down and let go of the woes.

Here are some journal prompts to help you focus your thoughts and emotions as you face your grief-

  • What are you grieving?

  • Where in your body do you feel the grief most?

  • What are your thoughts telling you as you feel and process your grief?

  • What are the specific times or situations that amplify your grief?

  • What are some of the positive memories about the situation? Try to jot it down.

  • What does your support system look like? Who is it, and who are your sources?

  • What are the two things you are doing to help you cope with the grief?

Is a Grief Journal Useful Resource At Your Workplace?

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Workplaces or organizations often don't recognize the grief experienced by their workers, especially the grief surrounding the experience of being made redundant.

You can unfold grief into many layers or stages, and it can be something changed, loss commenced or loss confirmed.

Understanding grief experiences in an organization will only assist the organizations and employees to have a better understanding of it and how to respond to it.

Therapeutic writing is not a new concept but an age-old one. The health of employees is now the most valuable asset of any organization. Many organizations now have included major changes in their approach towards their employees' mental/psychological well-being. From practicing meditation to providing free in-house therapy sessions to consultancy, the services are endless.

Suggested read : 8 Surprising Benefits Of Introducing Meditation At Work

Although it's easy to say that work-life balance needs to be there, but hardly it's the reality. Worklife balance can only occur if your mental and physical health is kept in check.

Time and tide wait for no one, and it's true to the very core. In this rat-race world where there is hardly any time left for a lunch break, taking time off to mourn or for loss seems like a luxury you just can't afford. And introducing therapy or counseling sessions at your workplace can change the dynamic to a great extent.

Suggested read : Importance of Work-Life Balance And How to Achieve It

Benefits of Grief Journaling

Grief journals are workplace therapeutic writings. It is a way of expressing your deepest feelings without confronting someone or the need to talk about them aloud.

Grief journaling is a safe and judgment-free place for you to explore your jumbled-up feelings and thoughts. It also helps you record your ongoing journey through grief and see how far along you've come across.

So, introducing a grief journaling session can be productive and help your employees deal with their grief in a more constructive way.

Here are the benefits of introducing a grief journal at work-

Psychological benefits

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Researches have shown that writing down in a journal or keeping one helps a person heal from anxiety and even depression. Even though practicing mindfulness or meditation is often encouraged at work but only a few can benefit from it.

When your feelings are bottled up it can lead to psychological and physical distress. Anxiety attacks, panic attacks or even worse suffering from depression, you could experience it all if your grief is not checked. But if you can pour it out, you'll end up feeling a lot lighter.

Suggested read : Workplace Depression: What Every Employer Must Understand

Physical health benefits

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According to research, people who participate in grief journaling sessions tend to achieve a state of letting go. Your traumatic experiences will have deeper psychological implications when you begin to write them down.

As your blood pressure and heart rate drop, you are more likely to experience physical stress responses. Additionally, it reduces diastolic blood pressure and reduces cardiac symptoms.

Better sleep, better productivity

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Grief drastically affects your sleep schedule, and it can alter your sleep cycle as well. Insomnia or excessive sleep are common effects. A sleep-deprived workforce will only decrease the productivity of your business.

Jotting down thoughts that disturb you or cause anxiety, may help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. And better sleep leads to better performance.

Suggested read : How Sleep Deprivation Affects Work Performance

An effective way to cope with grief

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Writing down can make you more aware of what you're feeling. Putting thoughts and emotions into words forces you to slow down and deeply reflect on your feelings. It's a constructive method of self-reflection.

As you are more in terms of your emotions, it is easier for you to deal with everyday reality.

Summing it up

Grief affects every aspect of our existence, including the workplace. Thus, a change in the workplace structure and system that supports and recognizes bereaved caregivers returning to work is needed.

I hope this article helped you to think about your management challenges and how you might address grief at work in a more constructive manner.

This article is written by Neha Yasmin who is a content marketer at Vantage Circle. A selenophile with a penchant for discovering great meals and drinks. Is a self-proclaimed binge racer with a knack for cooking in her spare time. For queries, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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