One of the hardest things to really get your head around at the moment is the losses you hadn’t really anticipated from the impacts of Covid-19. It’s one thing to choose to stay home and do things, it’s something very different to not be “allowed” out. When we talk about grief and loss, so many people automatically think about someone having died, but it’s so much more than that. Grief and loss can happen to us at any time, and often hits us in ways we don’t expect.
What have you lost? Time with friends, a dream holiday, plans with family, or even the ability to go work out your stress at the gym? All these things impact us in different ways and people respond to loss differently. Acknowledging that you have lost “life” as you knew it in January, even February, can be a difficult first step.
Taking time to think about the changes you have had to make in order to keep functioning can become overwhelming at times. You can’t buy a weeks worth of groceries for your whole family because of the limits on products. The death stares when you finally manage to get some toilet paper. The inability to buy medications that were so easy to obtain in the past. All these little day to day things add up to greater stress.
Then add the changes for schooling, how to define if you are an “essential worker”, worrying about helping your children learn when you can barely manage their homework, it’s a strange world we currently live in. How do we begin to manage this in a healthy way, and what’s “normal” for processing these changes in our brain.
Well, firstly, there isn’t really “normal” for this, more like average. Some people will respond by being extremely calm, taking everything in their stride. For others, the stress levels are through the roof and they find themselves getting angrier and angrier about the injustice of the whole situation. Facing losses we have suffered in the past can trigger us back to times we felt out of control in the past and it all seems overwhelming. Being able to maintain a semblance of control can be a driving factor in how we react to things.
So what can we do? Whilst currently rushing off to go to the beach and be peaceful and calm isn’t possible for many, getting out in nature and grounding yourself can be a lovely way to reconnect. Look for the opportunities to grow relationships in different ways. Write a letter to someone you miss and tell them what makes them so special to you. Journal your feelings. Sit in the sun and enjoy the vitamin D. Use this enforced time to practice being unbusy. To reconnect with an old hobby you haven’t had time for. Learn something new. You know you best, so be guided by your intuition about what will work for you.
If you are finding yourself completely overwhelmed, remember, there is always someone to talk to about how you feel. We are available to help you sort through those feelings via video link up and telephone calls. It is completely ok to not be ok with how things are at the moment.