Discovering Your New Normal: Finding Meaning After A Loss

Your new normal is a place of meaning, not one of emptiness or despair. The process of moving forward after a loss may be long and painful, but it can also be a time to discover who you are and what your relationship with others means to you. 

Grief experts recommend keeping an open mind about what the future holds for you; meeting new friends; going on trips; reading books about grief; and finding ways to express yourself. 

In this section, we’ll talk about some strategies that might help ease your transition into this new chapter in life and give you some ideas for how to start building a better tomorrow.

Finding meaning during a time of loss
Finding meaning after a loss is an important part of the healing process.
Building a support system can provide comfort and help alleviate feelings of isolation during times of grief.
Coping with grief can involve seeking support from friends and family, participating in therapy or support groups, engaging in self-care practices, and finding ways to honor the memory of the person who has passed away.
There is no set timeline for grief, and the length and intensity of the grieving process can depend on many factors.
Offering support to someone who is grieving can involve listening to them, offering practical assistance, sharing memories of the person who has passed away, and providing reassurance and comfort.

Accept Your Loss And Its Consequences

Accepting your loss and its consequences is the first step in finding meaning after a loss. It does not mean that you have to be happy about what has happened, or that you have to believe it was for the best. 

You just have to accept that it happened and that there are no do-overs or second chances. You can’t undo the past, but you can change how you react to it moving forward.

Accepting reality doesn’t happen overnight it takes time and effort. Many people who lose someone they love experience denial first, followed by anger and guilt, followed by depression (or other emotions), then eventually acceptance of their new normal as they learn how to live without their loved one in their lives on a daily basis.

“When coping with the aftermath of a loss, finding a supportive community can be essential to healing. Learn more about the benefits of a support system and how to build one in our guide, Finding Strength in Community: How to Build a Support System After a Loss.”

Find New Routines That Help You Focus On The Now

One way to help yourself move forward is by finding new routines that will help you focus on the now. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Meditation, yoga and exercise can help you practice living in the moment and being present with what’s happening right now.
  • Reading is another good way to practice this mindset, as it allows you to shut out distractions while immersing yourself in an activity that requires your full attention.
  • Cooking, gardening and other hobbies allow us a chance to get lost in our own thoughts while working on something creative or challenging—and these activities also give us time alone or with others who understand what we’re going through.
  • Volunteering gives those who are grieving a sense of purpose and helps them feel connected with others facing similar struggles at the same time they’re coping with their loss. It’s an opportunity for selflessness as well as connection with others who may not understand what you’re going through but want your friendship nonetheless.
Meditation or mindfulness practiceReduces stress and anxiety, increases focus and mental clarity.
Regular exercise routineBoosts mood and energy, improves physical health, and helps to establish a sense of routine in daily life.
Keeping a daily journalProvides a space for processing emotions and thoughts, helps to increase self-awareness and reflection.
Engaging in a creative hobbyEncourages self-expression, provides a healthy outlet for emotions, and helps to establish a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Help Others By Sharing Your Experience With Grief

Share your story. Sharing our experience with grief is an important part of the process. It helps others who may be struggling with their own loss, and it also helps us to heal by getting our feelings out into the open.

Help yourself by helping others. If you’re able to help another person through a difficult time, it will give you a sense of purpose and meaning as well as make you feel good about what you’ve done.

“During times of grief, a strong support system can provide comfort and help alleviate feelings of isolation. Check out our guide, The Power of a Support System During Times of Grief, to learn more about the importance of finding support during difficult times.”

Set Goals And Meet Them

Set goals. When your life has been turned upside down, it can be tempting to retreat from society. But setting and meeting small, realistic goals is one way to get your bearings back and feel like you’re accomplishing something even if it’s only a small step forward.

For example, your goal might be “get through one hour without crying,” or “make plans for tomorrow.” You’ll likely need help with these initial steps (more on that later), but once you start checking off items on this list of things to do after the loss of a loved one, then you’ll have a renewed sense of purpose and control and those feelings will carry over into other aspects of your life too!

Write down your goals and review them regularly. This is another way that writing can be helpful in moving forward after the death of someone close: By writing out what you want for yourself now that things aren’t as stable as they used to be, seeing those words on paper reminds us how important each aspect of our lives is. 

Staring at them every day helps keep us focused on making progress toward our new normal instead becoming overwhelmed by grief or sadness about losing someone special along with old routines from before their passing occurred

Be Honest With Yourself About What You Want

It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you want. Do you want to stay in your current job, or do you need a change? 

Are there things that are bothering you at work, such as a new boss or too much pressure from your colleagues? If so, try talking with them about it and see if they can make any changes to help alleviate those issues.

If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s time for a career shift either into an entirely different field or just into something less demanding than what you’re doing now. 

You’ll be amazed how many opportunities there are out there for people who’ve been laid off from their jobs due to downsizing or restructuring! 

One thing most people don’t realize is that when companies downsize their workforce they tend not only remove employees from positions but also create new ones within other departments often without advertising them externally since these positions aren’t always considered part of their core business units (and thus aren’t always considered worth hiring outside consultants). 

As long as these openings exist within one’s company then one should never hesitate before pursuing them!

“After experiencing a loss, building a supportive network can provide a sense of community and understanding. Our guide, Creating a Supportive Network After a Loss: Tips and Strategies, provides practical advice on how to establish a supportive network that can help with the healing process.”

Consider A Support Group Or Joining An Online Community

There are many ways to find support, whether it’s in person or online. One way is through a support group. Support groups are a great way to share your experience with others who have gone through the same thing you have. 

They’re also a good place to get help from people with more experience than you, as well as share helpful tips and advice on how they’ve managed their own grief. Support groups don’t cost anything, but some require that you pay for membership before participating in them (usually only 10 dollars per month).

Another option is joining an online community where people can talk about their experiences together anonymously through text messages or chat rooms instead of having face-to-face conversations in person if they prefer not to do so because it would be too difficult for them emotionally at this time in their lives.’

Can provide a sense of belonging and validationMay feel overwhelming or intimidating for some people.
Offer a safe, non-judgmental space for sharing experiences and emotionsCan be time-consuming or interfere with other commitments.
Provide access to information and resourcesMay not be the right fit for everyone or address specific needs or interests.
Can help to increase social support and reduce isolationMay require a level of vulnerability that some people may not be comfortable with.

Connect With People Who Share Your Values

This can be as easy as finding a local support group, or it can be as complicated as finding new friends who share your values. 

In any case, the point is that when you’re going through something difficult, you’ll want to surround yourself with people who share your values and who are also going through something similar. 

Those are the people who will understand what you’re experiencing and help keep things in perspective for you. They’ll also provide encouragement and support along the way—and sometimes all we need is someone else saying “I know how hard this is,” or “I’m so sorry this happened.”

“Breaking up with a loved one can feel like a loss, and it’s important to take time to heal and move forward. Our guide, Finding Your Way Out of the Dark: Overcoming a Break-up, offers tips and strategies for coping with a break-up and finding happiness again.”

Focus On The Future, Not The Past

After a loss, it’s important to focus on the future and not dwell on the past. This can be hard because you may feel like you’re stuck in time no matter how long it has been since your loved one passed away, every day is like yesterday. 

It can also be difficult to envision yourself as part of a new normal when all that is familiar has been taken from you. But even though it isn’t easy, it’s important to try and look forward instead of back.

One way I’ve found helpful in this regard is by doing something creative each day. For example:

  • Write (or doodle) about my experiences with my loved one
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Make dinner for myself

Build A New Sense Of Family Or Community

After the loss of a loved one, you may be thinking that the only way to cope is by finding a new sense of family or community. You may feel like you need to build a new group of friends in order to survive this difficult time.

  • Join a church or charity
  • Volunteer at a shelter

In my experience, these are two very effective ways for finding meaning and support after losing someone close to you. When you are feeling lost and alone, it’s important for your mind and body to have something positive and meaningful on which it can focus its energy.

Volunteering in the local community or at a non-profit organizationProvides opportunities for meeting new people, contributing to a cause, and building a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Connecting with old friends or relativesReconnects you with people who know you well and can offer support and understanding.
Joining a club or organization related to your interests or hobbiesProvides opportunities for meeting like-minded people, learning new skills, and finding a sense of belonging.
Participating in community events or gatheringsEncourages community involvement and provides opportunities for meeting new people and exploring new interests.

Try Something Out Of The Ordinary To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

This is a great time to be adventurous and try new things.

Try a new activity you’ve never done before, like going on a hike or learning how to surf.

Try out some new recipes, even if you’re worried about failure: the worst that can happen is your dish doesn’t taste very good! But at least now you’ll know what not to do next time.

Look into different hobbies, even if they seem silly or unrelated to anything else that interests you currently—you might find something exciting in there!

Go visit places outside of your comfort zone (but still safe). Maybe it’s somewhere foreign like Tokyo or Paris, or maybe it’s right down the street but just seems exotic because of all the people who live there now who aren’t from where you grew up; both are valid options! 

Either way, try visiting somewhere that makes your heart rate go up just slightly higher than usual as this will help remind yourself that life goes on even when we lose someone special in our lives.

“Finding meaning after experiencing loss can be a challenging but important part of the healing process. Our guide, Finding Meaning in Life After Loss: Tips and Strategies, provides practical advice for those seeking to discover new purpose and direction after a loss.”

Write About Your Loss And New Normal In A Journal

When you’ve lost someone, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the grief and pain. Writing about your loss can help you acknowledge those feelings and cope with them in a healthy way.

Remember that the goal of journaling is not to write an essay or to express yourself perfectly on paper—it’s simply to explore what this loss means for you personally. You are not looking for perfection; just writing down some raw thoughts will work wonders.


The process of grieving is long and complicated, and it doesn’t end when the tears stop flowing or when you move on to other parts of your life. 

Grieving has a way of creeping up at unexpected moments, and it can be difficult to deal with intense emotions after a loss. 

But as we’ve discussed in this article, there are plenty of ways to help yourself adjust to these changes and they don’t all involve medication or therapy sessions!

In fact, many experts agree that taking care of yourself by using simple self-care techniques like exercise, meditation or creative expression can actually make all the difference in how you feel over time.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on finding meaning and adjusting to life after a loss:

Finding Meaning in the Life of a Loved One Who Dies is Part of Grief – This article from The Guardian explores the concept of finding meaning after the death of a loved one and offers advice on how to cope with grief.

Finding Your New Normal After a Loss – This guide from AuthoraCare provides tips and strategies for finding a “new normal” after the loss of a loved one.


What is grief?

Grief is a natural emotional response to loss, typically associated with the death of a loved one, but can also be experienced after other types of loss such as a breakup, job loss, or major life change.

What are the stages of grief?

The stages of grief are a framework that describes the different emotional and psychological experiences that many people go through after a loss. The stages typically include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

How long does grief last?

There is no set timeline for grief and it can last for different lengths of time for different people. Grief is a personal and unique experience, and the length and intensity of the grieving process can depend on many factors such as the type of loss, the individual’s personality, and their support system.

How can I cope with grief?

Coping with grief can involve many different strategies, such as seeking support from friends and family, participating in therapy or support groups, engaging in self-care practices, and finding ways to honor the memory of the person who has passed away.

How can I help someone who is grieving?

If someone you know is grieving, there are many ways you can offer support. These may include listening to them, offering practical assistance, sharing memories of the person who has passed away, and providing reassurance and comfort.