The COVID-19 pandemic has come with many challenges, one of which has been experiencing grief due to loss. The pandemic measures may have resulted in disruptions to our daily routines; separation from our friends and family; the missing of milestone events (like graduations, birthdays, vacations). We may also find that we feel guilty because we are grieving losses that seem less important than the loss of life. But our feelings of grief over the disruptions of the pandemic are valid, our losses may not be as important as the loss of life but they matter to us.
How do I know if the losses are negatively affecting you:
- Often feeling irritable, frustrated, angry or resentful
- Low mood
- Feeling generally unmotivated
- Being preoccupied with thoughts about what you are missing out on
How to manage feelings of grief
Acknowledge your feelings of loss and grief and find ways to express your feelings of loss and disappointment
- Expressing yourself through art: drawing, painting, music or dance
- Talking to friends or family about how you feel, sharing your feelings of disappointment and your concerns
Incorporate new rituales to your routine to replace ones that have been cancelled or have been put on hold.
- An interesting online course
- An artistic hobby – creative writing, drawing/painting/sculpting
- Cooking or baking
- Volunteering – there are lots of great volunteering opportunities that can be done remotely
Find creative ways to celebrate milestone moments (like graduations, birthdays, anniversaries)
- Creating creative videos with your friends/family to celebrate the moment
- Sending gifts or care packages and opening them together online
- Virtual celebrations
What creative celebration method can you come up with? Think outside the box!
Stay present. During this time of loss we may find ourselves worrying about future losses which can increase our anxiety and our frustration. Here are some ways you can stay present
- Mindfulness can help us ground ourselves in the moment allowing us to appreciate and savour the enjoyment we are experiencing. When practising mindfulness try using all of your senses to anchor yourself in the present moment.
Look around and notice
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can physically feel
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
- Savouring, this means to live in the moment and appreciate the moment. Great ways to savour are by capturing moments we are enjoying (photographing/drawing/painting), or journaling what we are grateful for