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In this Post: Grieving the COVID situation and how it has affected our world is a reality we are all currently facing!
The whole situation with COVID has filled many of us with a mix of emotions! Some good, some bad, and some scary. And I want to suggest that a big component of what you are currently experiencing is grief.
Grief for a future put on hold.
While it may seem silly to think that we are mourning in the same way we would if we had lost a loved one or a client, the truth is, it is very similar.
We are mourning activities canceled, trips untaken, and financial stability.
We are saying goodbye to the future we had anticipated – the future we had carefully planned and dreamed, the one just within our reach.
Have you acknowledged yet that you are grieving a future that might have been?
Have you allowed yourself to feel all the feels? Or have you been powering through it all?
It is important that we go through all the stages of the mourning process to come out stronger on the other side. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance for a future so abruptly ripped from us.
And while I don’t want to see you stuck for too long in any of these stages, I do want you to experience them!
I want you to have grace with yourselves as you navigate these uncharted territories!
I want you to realize that even though there is loss on a global scale, and loss “greater” than yours, that you are allowed to be sad over the loss you are experiencing.
It is real. Your loss is valid. Your loss needs acknowledgment in order for you to move forward!
So please, take a moment to mourn. Allow yourselves this freedom. You deserve it!
The Four Tasks of Mourning
One system I find especially useful for grieving was developed by J. William Worden, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. His process “The Four Tasks of Mourning” is an alternative to the “stages of grief” you may have traditionally seen in the past.
What I like about his model is that it gives the power back to the griever.
Instead of “stages,” he calls the steps in mourning “tasks.” These tasks allow the griever the control to process their emotions in a more active way.
As grievers, we are not powerless to the process.
His Task Are
Task 1 — To Accept the Reality of a Loss
Task 2 — Process Grief and Pain
Task 3 — Adjust to the New World
Task 4 — Bridge a Connection Between What Was and What Will Come
Now grief is not linear, so you may find yourself going back and forth between the “tasks,” and that’s okay! We must be gentle with ourselves as we explore new ways of being, new ways to do business, and letting go of what was.
Grieving the COVID Situation – Ways to nurture yourself through the process
Journalling can be so therapeutic! When you sit down and put pen to paper, you know that there is no one judging what you have to say. Your words are for you and you alone. My favorite exercise is to do a stream of consciousness writing. Basically writing everything that comes into your mind. Don’t edit a thing. Set a timer. And just write. You may be amazed the realizations that occur when you allow your writing to flow freely from your soul.
Pray or Meditate
Prayer and/or meditation can bring profound peace to a worried soul. While you may be angry, scared, or sad about the situation at hand, if you can slow down and connect with source, you may find answers and revelations you never expected.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Now obviously during this time of quarantines we cannot or shouldn’t always meet in person. However, there are still ways to connect without leaving your home. There’s Zoom and Google Hangouts, Facetime, email, and good old fashioned phone calls.
If you don’t feel like you have supportive people in your life, reach out to professionals. There is no shame in talking to a therapist! And there are all kinds of online options for therapy these days.
My friends and I have started a weekly Zoom meet-up. We spend the first 45 minutes playing a game together online, and the second 45 discussing our specific problems from the week. It is so cathartic to meet weekly with them and talk through the challenges we are all facing.
Drink lots of Water and Eat Healthy Food
Now more than ever, we have time to cook nutritious foods for ourselves. By eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, we are bolstering our immune system, which also aids our emotional recovery.
Get Plenty of Sleep
This can be challenging as we navigate fear of the unknown, so set yourself up for a more successful sleep experience. Spend 10-15 minutes before bed meditating or practicing deep breathing. Turn off the news, set down the phone, and get to bed a little earlier than usual.
Listen to Music That Feeds Your Soul
Experiencing music can be an incredible restorative experience. Lose yourself in the beats, and you will be dancing yourself out of the mourning process in no time at all!
Now again, be gentle with yourselves as you walk through the mourning process. Because you are grieving, and grief is a process!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
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- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
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