As the world finds itself amid the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a commonality that has emerged. We, as a society, are collectively grieving. Yes, you heard me! We are grieving! For some, grief is related to the loss of a job which now comes with fears and anxieties related to the financial implications. For others, the grief is related to not being able to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding; the list goes on and on.
Some are experiencing grief due to the loss of their daily routine. Grabbing coffee with friends, going to happy hour, and church are now things of the past. There is one thing I must be clear about. Having an awareness of your own personal grief does NOT mean that you do not understand and/or care about those lives who have been lost to the COVID-19/Coronavirus. Read that one more time. Being aware of your personal grief absolutely does NOT mean you do not care about the plight of others.
These last few months I have seen more shaming, blaming, and judgment towards others for how they are coping through this difficult time.
If you find yourself struggling, here are five tips to help you cope with the grief you might experience.
C – Call out your feelings.
Giving a name to what you are feeling can be the first step in resolving it. Saying your feelings aloud can help you feel empowered so that you can start to regain control over your emotions. Journaling, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are just a few tools that can help you cope.
O – Offer grace to yourself and others.
This pandemic is all new to us, and we are all figuring it out as we go. Keep in mind that everyone grieves differently. Rather than judge and persecute others for how they are grieving, especially if it differs from the way you do, give them some grace.
V – Validate your feelings.
It is perfectly okay to feel what you are feeling. Do not allow others to minimize your feelings with statements of guilt. For example, “At least you can work from home.”
I – Identify daily things in your life that you are thankful for.
The practice of gratitude can be extremely helpful in changing your outlook on things. Try thinking of three things each day that you are grateful for and/or that bring you joy.
It can be hard to look at the “good” when there is chaos all around. However, you might find that if you start to look for the collateral beauty around yourself, you just might find it.
D – Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Try to stay connected as much as possible to loved ones utilizing FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help! Recognizing that your soul may need a more structured environment