Wow, a lot has happened in the last week! Our world has changed drastically. Life as we know it no longer exists, and we don’t know how long this will last. After initial panic and anxiety, I imagine that many of you started to feel a myriad of feelings. I know I have. One of the feelings you may be feeling is grief.
With this pandemic, this feeling of grief can feel confusing. We can see the storm clouds on the horizon, but we are uncertain of whether we are in the eye of the storm or if it is yet to come Our limbic system knows something bad is happening, but we can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety; the loss of routine; the loss of our lifelines. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.
In the last week I have spoken with many of my clients, and I have heard a similar theme being repeated: the feeling of loss. My clients come to me with various issues, but all of them have something in common, the resilience of finding ways to support themselves during difficult times (what we often call life lines, in our sessions). Now what their lifelines look like vary, of course. Some love to work out daily, others love to go for coffee or wine with friends, some enjoy walking their dogs, others find their joy/peace/purpose in traveling, and so on.
Now that the initial shock has passed, and that you have found ways to cope with the anxiety that comes during the time of a pandemic, you might be finding yourself at loss of what to do, and you might be finding yourself overwhelmed with feelings of anger and/or sadness, or you might just be having a difficult time concentrating. That is normal, now. While I’m still reading emails and scanning the news, my mind is miles away with the people that matter most to me, but who I cannot physically be with. That is a loss that most of us are experiencing as well.
What can we do with this grief?
The first thing to do is feel your feeling, and name it. There is something powerful about naming this as grief. It is incredibly helpful to allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling. When we name our emotions, talk about emotions or write about them, it feels like they get unstuck and move through us. Emotions need space and motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through, as a way to not get stuck in these feelings.
Be attentive to your feelings, emotions and reactions. Allow yourself to voice them to someone you trust. Write them down or express them. We are all facing this together, and we are all experiencing some sort of loss at this point. Even the loss of routine, can cause feelings of grief.
As always, be kind and compassionate with yourself. Everyone will experience different levels of fear, anxiety and grief. Remind yourself that our feelings manifest in different ways, and what you are feeling is valid and important.