Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
It is hard to know how to feel about all of the new situations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and grief is one of them. Dealing with grief during this time is a unique situation we have been thrown into with no idea how to handle it. As if grieving is not hard enough, we now have to grieve from a distance without the ones we love around us. Grief does not have to be for someone who has died; it can be for the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, empty nesting, or the grief of the world as we know it, or general worry about how the future will turn out. The pandemic has made it hard to grieve how we usually would, often finding comfort with our loved ones. This has resulted in us having to get creative with how we spend our time and find new ways to navigate our grief. What are some ways we can begin to cope while following COVID-19 guidelines?
Stay connected. Keep in touch with those who will listen and be there for you. These can be those who are not experiencing the same grief and those who are not. If communicating with people going through the same grief, be sure to check on their mental well-being.
Plan a social distance visit or hang out with friends or family. Getting together in person is the best way to feel less lonely during a hard time. While it is not advised to be close to each other, it still feels good to see loved ones in person rather than on a screen. It is best to do this outside to remain within the COVID-19 guidelines.
Start journaling. Writing down what you do with your day or how you feel about certain things can help your brain organize your emotions. It will help to get thoughts and feelings on paper, making them solidified.
If experiencing the loss of a person, make plans for a memorial or gathering once the local government says it is safe. This will allow for mourning, even if it is months later, with other family members and friends.
Practice mindfulness and meditation. With the right techniques, this can help one become focused and relaxed. Meditating does not necessarily mean sitting criss-cross on the floor and humming to yourself. It can be done while doing various activities like walking or everyday activities like teeth brushing.
Do not compare or downplay your grief. Comparing the pain you are experiencing to others might cause you to downplay your grief. There are no rules on how to feel when experiencing loss, so it is unfair to not work through your grief because you think someone else’s situation is worse than your own.
If you still feel like you need help coping with loss during the pandemic, Neurofeedback & Counseling Center Harrisburg therapists are available to talk online. Talking to someone outside of your situation can help give input and perspective, someone else might not be able to offer. Please contact us to speak to a therapist today.