At some point you have to return to work and during this time you realize one thing very quickly - the world moves on even though one life passes. It's a hard idea to absorb, but it's unfortunately true. However, don't let that though bog you down and do your best to overcome it.
Returning to the real world is not an easy task. Since my line of work requires me to travel often, it made it much harder for me to return to normalcy. Here are a few things I did in order to level the uphill climb I had before me a bit.
- Setting expectations. I made sure my colleagues knew of my situation. I wanted to set expectations upfront. I understand some people are concerned with being too forward, but being open to your co-workers is very important because any decent person would do their best to help rather than add to your stress levels. Depending on your client, you may want to let them know of what you are going through as well.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends. It's not the same as being with them in person, but make sure you keep communication channels open with your family and friends. I made sure I called my mom each morning to make sure she's doing okay. The conversations would only be a few minutes long, but it helped ease my mind tremendously; knowing she was alright and I was speaking with someone who could empathize with me. Sure, the conversations got fairly repetitive, but while coping with the loss of a loved one, it's just very comforting to know that there's someone else on the other end of the line who cares.
- Keep organized. This will be one of the toughest tasks. Even if you are completely anal person who needs to label their pencils, keeping organized during this time period will be quite a feat. However, you need to remember that you're still at work and need to do your best to stay on top of your game. It becomes so easy to get flustered if you've lost your abilities to keep organized. During these times, just take time away and go for a short walk or splash some water in your face.
There are many many more things your can do to cope with the loss of loved one while returning to work, but those are the top three tips I have so far. As I mentioned above, the last point has been the toughest for me. I can't help but have an overwhelming feeling to just throw my hands up in the air and shut down. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, the world keeps moving and you need to find ways to keep moving with it.