15 Tips For Managing Grief And Loss At Work

Grief is a challenging and messy process. It’s often not easy to manage at home, let alone at work. However, there are some things you can do to help manage your grief and loss while still keeping your job and performing well at work. 

Grief is a natural response to loss and can affect individuals differently.
Coping with grief and loss can be challenging, but there are many ways to help manage emotions and stress.
Self-care is essential in managing grief and can help prioritize well-being during a difficult time.
Building a support system and finding understanding at work can be helpful in managing grief in the workplace.
It’s important to seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with your emotions.

Here are 15 tips for managing grief and loss at work:

It’s Ok To Say No

The first thing you can do is take a look at your workload, and be honest with yourself about what you can handle. 

Stress is not a good way of coping with grief, and honestly assessing how much work you need to get done will help you make better decisions about what to say no to.

If there are projects that don’t interest you or clients who aren’t worth the effort, then saying no could save both time and energy for everyone involved.

 This doesn’t necessarily mean being unprofessional: if someone asks for your opinion on something, or needs some input from your area of expertise, it could actually be beneficial for them (and thus good for business) if they know where they stand with regards to what matters most from their point of view as well as yours.

“Managing grief in the workplace can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it is possible to navigate through it. Our practical guide on navigating grief in the workplace provides helpful tips and insights to help you cope during this difficult time.” – Navigating Grief in the Workplace: A Practical Guide

Take Time Off Work

Taking time off work to grieve is one of the best ways to manage your grief and loss. If you need to take some time off, that’s okay! You can take as much time as you need.

It’s important to remember that people grieve in different ways, so there’s no right or wrong way to deal with grief at work. 

Some people prefer talking about their feelings with friends and family who understand what they’re going through; others find it helpful to talk about their feelings with a professional counselor or therapist; other folks prefer working through their feelings by writing down their thoughts and feelings in journal entries or blog posts; some people find solace in knitting blankets for babies born after the death of a loved one..

There are many ways we cope with grief and it’s important not judge ourselves negatively if we don’t feel like doing things that seem “normal” for grieving people (like going out for drinks after work).

RecognizeRecognize when you need to take a break from work
CommunicateCommunicate your situation with your employer and colleagues
RequestRequest time off for bereavement or mental health reasons
PlanPlan how to manage your workload while you’re away
PreparePrepare a seamless handover for colleagues covering your responsibilities
ReturnReturn to work when you feel ready, don’t rush it

Schedule Your Day Strategically

Being well-organized is an important component of managing your grief and loss at work. Use a planner or calendar to schedule your day strategically. 

Plan for the unexpected by scheduling time for things like meetings, appointments and other events that may come up throughout the day.

It’s also important to schedule some time for yourself in order to recharge and maintain balance in your life. Taking breaks throughout the day can help you refocus on what matters most: taking care of yourself!

“It can be challenging to maintain professionalism and productivity while dealing with the loss of a loved one. Our article on dealing with loss in the workplace provides tips and strategies to help you stay focused and productive during this difficult time.” – Dealing with Loss in the Workplace: How to Maintain Professionalism and Productivity

Consider The Physical Effects Of Grief

You might already be aware that grief can cause physical symptoms. Remembering the loved one who passed away can bring on aching in your chest, or an overwhelming need to cry. You may feel tired or exhausted and find it difficult to concentrate on tasks at work.

In addition to these common signs of grief, you may also experience some less-obvious physical reactions. For example:

  • You experience indigestion or heartburn after eating food that normally doesn’t bother you
  • Your appetite is lower than normal
  • Your energy level is low—even when you’re not physically active for long periods of time
Take careTake care of yourself physically when grieving
Eat wellEat well-balanced meals to improve your energy levels
ExerciseExercise regularly to boost your mood and reduce stress
SleepGet enough sleep to help alleviate physical symptoms of grief
HydrateDrink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy

Embrace Positive Distractions

  • To help you manage grief and loss at work, here are 15 tips:
  • Make it a priority to regularly exercise.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, try meditating or practicing mindfulness with the help of an app like Headspace.
  • Get connected with other people who are grieving. It can be helpful to find support groups for those who have experienced similar losses in life.
  • Take time to reflect on your own experiences and how they relate to others’ experiences of loss and grief—this can be extremely cathartic if done with a therapist or counselor who is trained in helping people through these processes.

“Talking about grief and loss can be uncomfortable, but it’s essential to communicate your needs with your boss and coworkers. Our article on how to talk about grief and loss with your boss and coworkers provides tips on how to communicate effectively and respectfully about your grief.” – How to Talk About Grief and Loss with Your Boss and Coworkers

Talk To Someone At Work About What You’re Going Through

One of the most important things you can do while going through such a difficult time is talk to someone at work. It’s OK to ask for help, even if it feels overwhelming at first.

If you’re in a position where you have an HR department, they might be able to connect you with an employee assistance program (EAP), which offers a variety of services that can help with managing grief and loss in the workplace. 

You can also talk to your manager or coworkers about how they’ve dealt with their own losses and ask them for advice on how best to manage yours.

If there isn’t anyone at work who seems like they’d be helpful because their experiences are too different from yours, find someone who has experienced something similar and see if that person would be willing to talk with you over lunch or coffee after work hours one day this week (or whenever will fit into both of your schedules).

Another option is reaching out beyond just your team, do some research online and look into local support groups that meet regularly in your area specifically geared towards people experiencing grief and loss as part of their daily lives (not just during holidays). 

These groups may provide valuable insight into what others have gone through when dealing with various types of situations involving loss and perhaps give some ideas on coping mechanisms that worked well for them, which could also apply for our situation here today!

Be Honest About How You’re Feeling

Be honest about how you’re feeling. If you don’t feel like smiling or laughing, don’t pretend to be OK when you’re not, and don’t force yourself to be happy if that isn’t how you feel.

Don’t bottle up your emotions. Don’t hide your emotions from co-workers or try to pretend that everything is fine if it isn’t. 

It’s important for people who are grieving to be honest with themselves, their loved ones and even their colleagues at work because bottling up your feelings can lead to depression and other issues down the line.

“Self-care is essential in managing grief, especially in the workplace. Our article on the role of self-care in managing grief at work provides practical tips and techniques to help you prioritize your well-being during this difficult time.” – The Role of Self-Care in Managing Grief at Work

Listen To Your Body And Practice Self-Care

  • Listen to your body and practice self-care.
  • Don’t ignore physical symptoms of stress or grief.
  • Don’t ignore physical symptoms of depression.

If you’re feeling achy, tired and sore, don’t just write it off as “stress.” If your heart hurts when someone mentions that person who died, don’t just write it off as “grief.” 

If you feel like crying all the time and can’t stop thinking about how hard life is right now, don’t just write it off as “depression.” 

Take note of these feelings; they may mean something important (like a medical condition) or they may be part of a normal process that needs attention so that you can move forward with your life.

Medical Leave Is An Option If Needed

Medical leave can be used not just for physical ailments but also for mental health issues. If you need time to grieve and recover from the loss of a loved one or friend, take time off from work as needed. 

Just make sure you have your doctor’s note stating that you are taking medical leave due to bereavement or other reasons like family emergencies. 

This will protect you against any discrimination claims in case someone at work questions why it took so long for them to return after the funeral of their loved one.

LearnLearn about the medical leave policy at your workplace
EligibilityCheck if you’re eligible for medical leave and the duration of your leave
ProvideProvide any necessary documentation or medical certificates
DiscussDiscuss potential accommodations with your employer
MaintainMaintain communication with your employer during your leave
It’s OkayRemember that taking medical leave is okay and necessary for your health

Prepare Yourself For Difficult Days And Moments In Advance

The best way to prepare for a difficult day is to know what will trigger your grief. If you’ve been through a significant loss in the past and know that it was triggered by an event such as an anniversary of your loved one’s death or by hearing a song they loved, then you should be prepared for those moments when they come up again.

You can’t predict when these triggers may arise, but you can prepare yourself in advance by thinking about how you will respond when they do. It’s okay if this preparation takes time it doesn’t need to happen all at once but it’s important that you make the effort because doing so will help prevent unhelpful reactions such as self-harm or suicidal ideation during difficult days. 

If a coworker mentions something related to your loss and this makes you feel sad or angry, then take some time away from them until those feelings go away (or try talking with them about what happened). Your job is hard enough without having co-workers who ignore their own emotions impact yours!

“Finding support and understanding at work after experiencing loss can make a big difference in the healing process. Our article on finding support and understanding at work after a loss provides tips and strategies to help you build a support system and find comfort at work.” – Finding Support and Understanding at Work After a Loss

Avoid Overcompensating At Work.

You may find yourself feeling like you need to work harder and longer than everyone else. This can be a result of your desire to feel productive, or because you want to distract yourself from the pain of loss.

However, over-compensation is not going to help in the long term: attempting to do too much will only make you exhausted and stressed out, and ultimately affect how well you do your job. Take time off when necessary, even if it makes other people think less of how hard you are working compared with them.

Build A Self-Care Kit

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your grief and loss, it can be helpful to assemble a self-care kit. This can include items that help you relax, like an aromatherapy candle or a bath bomb; items that help you stay healthy, such as a water bottle; and items that will keep your mind focused on something other than what is causing the loss (such as a good book).

The idea is not just to use this kit when you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed—it should be something that you use every day throughout the grieving process.


Of course, it’s not always possible to take a few days off to grieve. And even if you’re able to do that, it might not feel like enough time at first. 

But don’t let that deter you don’t let it stop you from taking this time for yourself. 

And remember that self-care is not just about what happens when we’re feeling sad or anxious; it’s also about taking care of ourselves in the moments when things are going well and our lives seem perfect!

Further Reading

Coping with Grief and Loss – HelpGuide: This comprehensive article provides helpful tips and techniques for coping with grief and loss, including how to navigate the stages of grief and find support.

Working Through Grief: 10 Helpful Tips – Verywell Health: This article offers practical advice on how to work through grief, including tips on how to take care of yourself, finding support, and honoring your loved one’s memory.


What is grief and loss?

Grief is the natural response to loss, whether it be the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a major life change. It involves a range of emotions and can affect individuals differently.

What are the stages of grief?

The stages of grief are commonly referred to as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are not linear and may not be experienced in the same order or intensity by everyone.

How long does the grieving process last?

The grieving process is different for everyone and can last anywhere from a few months to several years. It’s important to remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve and that everyone’s journey is unique.

How can I cope with grief and loss?

Coping with grief and loss can be challenging, but there are many ways to help manage the emotions and stress that come with it. Some tips include seeking support from friends and family, taking care of yourself through exercise and self-care, and honoring your loved one’s memory in a way that feels meaningful to you.

When should I seek professional help for grief?

It’s important to seek professional help for grief if you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with your emotions, have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, or if your grief is interfering with your daily life. A mental health professional can provide support and guidance during this difficult time.