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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

As humans, we all experience losing someone in our lives. Whether that is a friend, pet, significant other or family member, it happens to us all. But how do we move past it and get on with our lives? How do we accept the loss we have experienced, are experiencing and ultimately will experience? Here is some advice, coping skills and more to get you though the hard times.

Screw the 5 stages of Grief… Try thinking of it like this!

As I was talking to my counselor the other day about the recent loss of my grandmother, she gave me the best analogy for grief. No, not the 5 stages of Grief, because healing isn’t always linear, and it’s different for everyone. The Box and Ball Analogy is a fairly new way of coping with grief. Think of your life as a box, at the bottom of the box is a button and inside the box is a ball, the ball represents grief (I know it sounds silly but hear me out). Now, when you are grieving, this ball is big, and it has little room to move around the box. When the ball hits the button, in turn, it sets off an emotion, which can be sadness, anger, anxiety, anything. As time goes on the emotions are still there but the ball of grief gets small, and doesn’t hit that button of emotions as much. Eventually the pain goes away, maybe not completely but life becomes more manageable. You might only miss your loved one when you hit those milestones in life. No matter where you are on the healing journey though you can get through it, just remember to give yourself the grace & space to do so.

Lets talk ways to cope

Now that you have given yourself some time to feel all your feelings, let’s talk about how to cope. Same with grief, it’s not the same for everyone and some things might help, while others might not. These are just some ideas to help you start the healing process.

  1. Journaling

The one coping skill everyone tells you to practice, but have you ever consistently done it? Journaling lets you get all those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Instead of bottling all of those emotions up, you can express how you feel without fear of judgment from other people. Even though your feelings are real and valid, other people don’t always know how to react or help. You have the power with journaling to write down whatever you feel or don’t feel.

2. Maintain Hobbies or find a new one

Keeping a routine while going through something can give you some kind of normalcy. Hobbies are a great way to do this. Art is a great way to express emotions when you don’t have the words to do so, and you don’t have to be an artistic person either. Reading is a great option as well. Over the summer I myself started reading again and found it extremely beneficial. It gives you time away from technology, which we could all use every now and then. Photography, hiking, joining a club on campus, writing or even starting a blog are also some great hobbies you can do in your free time.

3. Listen to Music, a Podcast or watch a TV show/Movie

I have always found music to be helpful when dealing with any emotion. Music is a way to express how you feel when you can’t really understand it yourself. Podcasts aren’t for everyone, but I really enjoy them. There is a podcast about everything, from true crime to comedy and everything in between. A few of my favorites are My Favorite Murder, Call her Daddy and Anything goes. Podcasts allow you to listen to a show without having to watch anything, which is great when you are on your walk to class, cleaning or just relaxing. And of course, Movies and TV are a great way to take your mind off of things for a while, as there are so many different types of film to enjoy.


Maintaining your mental health is a must when needing to get through hard times, but physical health is just as important. Something as simple as going on a walk is a great place to start. You can listen to some music or a podcast while you are at it, or invite a friend. The gym on campus is a great place to go as well. There is the obvious weightlifting, which as a woman, I know can be intimidating. Additionally, upstairs there are bikes, treadmills and an indoor track, while downstairs they have a pool and hot tub that is available to all students. Yoga is also a great way to get your blood flowing. There are so many videos on youtube to help you get started as well if you don’t know where to start.

5. Talk to someone you trust

Probably the hardest thing to do when you are going through a hard time is talking to someone. I know first hand though that keeping everything in is not health…at all. You don’t have to go into every single detail about what is going on if you aren’t comfortable. Talk to someone you trust that won’t judge you or invalidate your feelings. It can be your friends, a parent, a sibling or a Professional. Anyone you trust. Talking strengthens your relationships that you do have. It also validates that what you are going through is real and means something to you.

Reminder to yourself

No matter how you deal with loss and grief, remember to be kind to yourself above all else. Healing is not linear. There is no right way to heal. And it’s okay to not be okay As long as you are healing in a positive and productive way and give yourself the grace and space to do so, there is nothing that can stop you! There will be good times and bad times, so embrace it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Brooke McSeveney

Bowling Green '24

Brooke and a third year here at BGSU. She is a Political Science and Sociology double major. In her free time, Brooke enjoys writing, reading, art, listening to podcast and more. Brooke is passionate about social issues, mental health, government and women's rights. She is also our Social Media Director.