By Allyson England Drake, M.Ed, CT
Full Circle, Founder and Executive Director
During this period of uncertainty, we’re all experiencing some level of loss – loss of routine, loss of income, loss of control, and a loss of safety and security. Because of “social distancing” we’re also feeling a loss of connection. Working remotely, forcing to close a business, missing out on special events, not attending school, and foregoing social gatherings can bring about a lot disappointment, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.
What we all are feeling are actually symptoms of grief.
Dr. Wolfelt, an expert in grief and loss, explains “As human beings, whenever our attachments are threatened, harmed, or severed, we naturally grieve. Grief is everything we think and feel inside of us when this happens. We experience shock and disbelief. We worry, which is a form of fear. We become sad and possibly lonely. We get angry. We feel guilty or regretful. The sum total of all these and any other thoughts and feelings we are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is our grief.”
Grief is normal and natural in these types of uncertain situations. And it’s often helpful to give our feelings a name, so we can understand the depths of what we’re feeling. Grief is real and we need to make sure we are giving it the attention it warrants. It can challenge us emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Adapted from The Grief Recovery Center in Houston Texas, I would like to suggest some ways to care for your grief during this pandemic:
- Find a space to release your feelings, like journaling, dancing, doing something creative, talking with a friend or family member, or talking a walk.
- Set up virtual hangouts during coronavirus social distancing, through video chatting on platforms such as Zoom. Interaction with others can help us feel less isolated and alone.
- Commit to a self-care routine, such as practicing yoga, stretching, getting fresh air, doing breathing exercises, and taking care of yourself in the best way possible during these times.
- Consider online counseling. Give yourself time each week to care for your mental health if you feel you are struggling with your grief currently. Since many counseling offices like Full Circle are not open for one-on-one meetings at this time, explore those who are offering online counseling.
In addition, when you are already dealing with the grief of a loved one, all of these additional feelings of loss can be overwhelming. You may be cut off from your support system or feel re-traumatized by all of the stories of grief in the news.
Please be assured that we are still here for you at Full Circle. We have online counseling available with our licensed therapists via telehealth, as well as free bereavement consultations available via telephone. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay healthy, take care of yourself, and let the professionals at Full Circle know if you need some extra support during these challenging times.