A few days ago I wrote about grief and today I felt the need to return to it. I was reminded yesterday of the grief we continue to face each day. On Monday, my kids received the message they wouldn’t be returning to school this year. When we left for spring break this year, we had no idea that our kids wouldn’t return to their normal routines. The sadness and emotional turmoil on their faces when they heard the news as a mom was unbearable.
I can’t fix it or provide a solution for the missed friendships, teachers, recesses, sports and routines they have lost this year. My heart is aching for the high school seniors having to move on this year without closure to one of the most memorable milestones. The teachers that have had to shift and change direction in their methods of helping our kids from home all while longing to see their students faces.
The emotions of the grief are real and the anticipation that continues to come of what we will lose as COVID-19 continues to change our world we once knew. Anticipatory grief is a lingering sense that more loss is still to come. We have lost normalcy, connection, routine, jobs, and certainty about our future. In each of these scenarios, the grief and mourning process has begun but we are also faced with many unknowns of what is still happening around us.
Coping with Grief
1. Validate and affirm your feelings. Be kind to yourself as you move through these emotions. Everyone experiences their grief differently. Allow your feelings you have to be acknowledge and expressed. You are not the only one who is experiencing sadness and fear. It is normal and a natural response.
2. Bring it back to the basics. During this time of turmoil, it is especially important to hydrate, rest, and stay fed.
3. Connect with others. Human connection is an essential part of our well-being. Take a moment to FaceTime or video chat with a friend. We need one another now more then ever. No one has to go this alone. Send a card, letters or email to your friends, teachers, the ones you are missing. This week I started using an app Marco Polo which I never imagined would myself using. This helps my girlfriends and I share our moments throughout the day of struggle and laughter.
4. Rest and Relaxation. When we are activated emotionally it is crucial to de-escalate our bodies and brains. Take time to nap, breathe, go for a walk, sit outside, fill yourself up.
5. Watch wild animals in real time. Have you ever thought what animals are doing as are all stressed out or caught up in the most recent news? Animals continue to go on with their lives and you can spend time watching them in real time. Check out explore.org or bear cam.
6. Talk to a professional. Many counselors and therapists are offering online sessions. Therapists are a vital resource to help us move through our grief and anxiety at this time.
Remember you are not alone in what you are feeling right now. There are so many of us experiencing a grief process around this time of rapid change and collective fearfulness. You are worthy of support and the struggles you are facing are understandable.