It’s been a difficult 18 months for us all, whether you’ve lost a loved one, missed milestones or just been out of your normal routine. This is why, for National Grief Day, we met with Sonia Francis-Mills, a therapist based at Thrive – a low-cost workspace in Surrey Quays Leisure Park that helps local people establish and grow their business - to talk about grief and what steps we should take to manage it.
The first question we asked was how to recognise grief, to which Sonia responded, “We often associate grief with losing a loved one, but really grief is about loss in all its entirety. It’s something we have all experienced, whether it’s losing someone - which has sadly happened to so many of us during the pandemic - through to losing our jobs or even an object. Grief doesn’t have to be a huge event, it can be something small, that then triggers a much bigger impact on us.”
“Acknowledging the need to grieve is a great first step, and for many of us we come from backgrounds that positively discourage members from expressing emotions, especially for men. Some cultures see this as a weakness, whereas in fact acknowledging our fallibility and vulnerability is a strength.” says Sonia.
Once we’ve acknowledged grief, what do we do with it? “The next step is managing it, it is a process and remember there is no time limit. For some it will be a cry, but for others it takes time. Which is why finding outlets and time for ourselves is key. Speaking to someone can be really helpful. That can be a friend or family member, or someone more removed like a therapist. Then there’s finding mental and physical outlets, it can be a mindful walk through to painting, playing music or going on the rowing machine.”
There are many books on the subject, but Sonia recommends ‘Take Back Your Life; An Interactive Journal’ that puts you at the helm. Sonia’s current mindful daily practices include 15 minutes of exercise, moisturising, and 30 minutes of leisurely reading.
If you need further support, please visit:
- Samaritans - 116 123 https://www.samaritans.org
- SLAM - 0800 731 2864 https://www.slam.nhs.uk/patients-and-carers/crisis-support
- Mind - https://www.lambethandsouthwarkmind.org.uk
Sonia Francis-Mills operates from Surrey Quay’s Thrive three days a week. To book an appointment call 07814 951014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From Autumn 2021, Sonia will be running a special group for men virtually, providing peer-to-peer support to talk about issues relating to relationships, fatherhood and money. Each session is 90 minutes, costing £15 a session.
We’ve partnered with charity Tree Shepherd since 2016 to establish Thrive, a programme of support for local enterprise and, more recently, to open low-cost covid-secure workspace aimed at helping local people establish and grow their businesses. Thrive offers space on a flexible rental basis starting from hot desks at £10 a day, and regular start-up programmes, business mentoring, events and networking. Get in touch to see what support Thrive can offer. Call 020 3948 3020 or email email@example.com to find out more.