Does Grief Scheduling Really Work? Here's What You Should Know

It's common nowadays to schedule in all kinds of things to keep our lives happy and keep ourselves the most productive we can be. If you are like most people, chances are a task will not get done if you don't write it down in your calendar ahead of time. The same line of thinking can be applied to self-care, therapy, and time with friends.

There is a new trend of scheduling emerging known as "grief scheduling" that may seem impossible at first, but those who have attempted to schedule grief sessions swear by it. Grief scheduling is the latest form of self-care that allows a person to set aside the grieving process so that they can carry on their day-to-day tasks. Those who believe in this type of emotional care claim that it's a way for people to tend to their personal needs while not slacking off in their professional lives (via Wendy Keller). 

Grief scheduling may just be the perfect way to give yourself the space you need to acknowledge the sadness you feel from loss while maintaining professionalism at your job. However, it may not be the right move for everyone. Here a few things to keep in mind. 

How to schedule your grief

Whether you are suffering through pet loss, the loss of a loved one, or a breakup, feelings of grief can be so immense that they make our day-to-day processes difficult. It may seem impossible to schedule something as unpredictable as grief, but this method may be the best way to allow yourself to acknowledge your emotions effectively. Although grief can sneak up on you when you least expect it, if you know you have a period of time saved in your day to give yourself permission to feel all of the feelings that enter when you are grieving, you may be able to carry on with any responsibilities that you have.

Writing on AfterTalk, Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D.M., advises those in grief to schedule a time to feel those feelings where you won't be disturbed. Schedule it like you would any other important task or event, blocking it out in your diary. When you schedule a time for grief, you can sit alone and listen to sad music to help you get started, you can write down your feelings in a journal, or you can talk to someone else who helps you work though pain of this kind, like a trusted friend or therapist. Just like we all grieve differently, your scheduled time for grief can look however you'd like it to. 

Is it for everyone?

The benefits of scheduling in time for your grief are many, but this type of self-care isn't for everyone. For some, putting off grieving for a different time than when they feel the urge to cry or feel intense emotions isn't ideal, per HuffPost. This could mean that it becomes more difficult to return and face those extreme feelings of sadness. If this occurs too many times in a row, a person may never return to these feelings, and repressing them can be more detrimental that grieving when the feeling strikes. In addition, if you feel like putting off grief is making it so you cannot be your true self during meetings or running your kids to different activities, this type of healing process may not be for you.

Grief scheduling is ideal for those who want to lean in to all the emotions that come their way but on their own time, but you may need professional help to kick start the process. If you feel a wave of emotions enter at an inconvenient time, consider opening up your calendar and scheduling a time to take care of yourself. It may be the best form of self-care you can employ through the tough times.