COVID-19 has swung through many of our lives like an unexpected invisible wrecking ball, knocking down the walls of our lives and shaking the ground we stand on. We all scrambled to move out of harm’s way, but the impact came so quick it has been nearly impossible to escape without at least a scratch. It still feels like that wrecking ball is swinging, and every day we are doing our best to dodge harm’s way.
This past month has been filled with loss – of lives, jobs, physical connection with loved ones, freedom to move about freely in public spaces with other human beings, and even of our general senses of control, stability, or safety. Feeling these losses during a time of isolation can be especially tough to handle – we are all going through this together in some way, but it can feel lonely still.
There is no correct way to deal with what you’ve lost due to COVID-19. Some feel numb and feel like they are floating throughout their day, disconnected from reality. Some feel mad, frustrated, and need to vent about the unfairness and hardship they feel pinned beneath. Others may cry and seek household shoulders to cry on and extra hugs, or shed their tears in the privacy of their own bed. Still others may be pleading to their god for some relief while others seem to be pretty unshaken and move through their day with confidence and energy. And for many, how they deal with their losses changes from day to day, or even moment to moment.
Below are some tips to help you deal with your recent losses:
- Notice your thoughts and feelings and give yourself a dose of compassion. Life is hard enough as it is right now, and it’s important to be more kind to yourself than usual.
- Seek out those people in your life who are great listeners or sources of comfort to you. Call, FaceTime, or email them when you feel like connecting to someone awesome in your life may help lift your mood.
- Make time for rest and enjoyment to counter your grief and anxiety. Take a walk, watch your favorite movie, take a nap, bake some cookies (or just eat some!), cuddle your pet, or listen to your favorite band, etc. If what you do soothes your mind, relaxes your body, or uplifts your mood, you’re moving in the right direction.
- Cry. It’s okay. And you’ll probably feel better.
- Make efforts to take care of your body, brain, and heart. Aim for good nights of quality sleep, food your body will thank you for, and maintain contact with those you love and who love you, when you aren’t in need of alone time.
- Rebuild your sense of control, stability, and safety. Plan and maintain a daily schedule to create some routine. Include small acts or activities you could look forward to. Create boundaries over how much COVID-19 media you access in a day, and stick to one reliable source. Take precautions to keep your self and your home safe. Step into the public with caution and take safety measures.
- Remind yourself that this is temporary. Yes, it is a long temporary, but it IS temporary. One day in the future you will be able to look back at how your resilience got you through this very tough time.
Hi, I’m Veronica Perez-Thayer, therapist for individuals and couples at Love Heal Grow Counseling.
I help hurting couples find a way through their differences to a place of love and togetherness.
You can read more about me or schedule an appointment here: About Veronica