The Path Forward - Coping With Grief
The last week hasn’t been easy for any of us. From the surprising news about Tony’s impromptu retirement and the newsflashes about Jeff Wilke and Nike, to the horrible stories related to the Jacob Blake tragedy, we are surrounded by larger-than-life headlines that will impact our business and personal lives in a big way. While we don’t know the true impacts of these changes in our worlds, we do know one thing – as diverse as we are as a company, grief is universal and Zapponians are feeling each and every step represented by the Stages of Grief in different ways.
It’s important to know, no matter where you’re at in processing these heavy updates, that:
1) What you are feeling IS real.
2) It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.
3) You are not alone.
It’s vital to give yourself permission to be aware and understand what you’re feeling and make sure you’re processing those feelings at a speed you’re comfortable with. Next, you will want to make sure you have someone to talk to, even if that means reaching out to us in Evolve or The Happy Collective – we have your back and so does the rest of your Zappos Family.
Grief. It's a hell of an emotion. It slaps us around a little bit by taking advantage of our brain's weaknesses and putting us in less than ideal situations when everything is already too much to handle. None of us wants to be here, but grief is a most natural reaction to any kind of loss or ending. It’s an emotional and physical feeling of suffering you have when someone or something you have the feels for is lost or taken away, or has ended.
Grief is an emotion that is difficult to express and so we tend to shift to more surface emotions like shock, anger, apathy, disbelief, guilt, fear, and of course, sadness. For example, it's easier to feel and accept anger than it is to admit that we are hurt. And even though we all have experienced grief and the pain it can cause, solving for it doesn’t get any easier with experience.
While hard to define sometimes, we know that any feelings related to grief can cause disruption to not only our mental and physical health, but it can also make it difficult to do the normal things like eating, sleeping and engaging with others, or heck, even just thinking straight.
What we should all know, is that any of this stuff is completely normal reactions to loss. However, noticing how we’re feeling and when we’re feeling it, then taking the appropriate time to process all the feels can help accelerate the healing process.
The key here: We must give ourselves permission to do so, or grief can drag it out much longer than we want it to.
There are all kinds of resources online and this is a topic we fully plan on diving into at a later point right here in The Happy Collective, but for now, here’s the quick and dirty about how we can cope:
1. Recognize and acknowledge the pain you're feeling.
2. Accept that grief can trigger many different emotions, yes... even the unexpected, surprising ones.
3. Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you and everyone experiences grief differently - this is especially important to you leaders and mentors out there.
4. Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
5. Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically. Give yourself the space you need.
6. Recognize the difference between grief and depression, and ask for help when you cannot, or if it all gets too much.
Our wonderful Benefits & Wellness Team is also here to support you with an array of traditional and non-traditional support and care benefits that you can find here: https://zappos.quip.com/folder/zappos-benefits-information.