For the past several months we have been dealing with Covid-19 and our lives have forever changed. We have been asked to stay home, work from home (if we can), teach our children, cancel trips and special occasions, and be apart from friends and family, among many other things. In an instant our lives were changed. We couldn’t go about our daily lives. We weren’t able to enjoy the freedoms that we once had. We had to adjust and adapt.
Humans, by nature, are very resilient creatures. However, we are also creatures of ritual and are very social. It became very easy to feel grief and loss when we couldn’t go out freely and see our friends and family.
Many people associate grief with the death of a loved one. This is not always the case. Grief can be the response to any loss. By that standard, experiencing grief in the time of Covid-19 is very natural. Some of us may even be experiencing the loss of a loved one and my heart goes out to you.
Feeling grief or loss at this time in our lives is very natural. We are mourning the lives we once knew. However, there is something unique to the Covid-19 experience. Not only are we grieving, we also may be feeling anxiety or fear about the future because we don’t know what is going to happen. Covid-19 is a novel virus meaning that this specific virus has never happened before and we are learning about it as we go. So, we may be feeling a range of emotions right now: grief, anxiety, and fear. This is a great recipe to get you down and feel like it’s never going to change, and nothing can be done.
Here are some suggestions for getting past grief, anxiety, and fear:
- Recognize that having these emotions are very natural and normal. Don’t beat yourself up for the way you are feeling.
- Allow yourself to feel the way you are feeling. Don’t try to hide it or mask it, as it makes it worse. Let yourself experience the emotion.
- Don’t put an expectation of time on how long you should feel a certain way. However, don’t move into that emotion and unpack your bags to stay there.
- Create a plan for what your life will look like while living with the Covid-19 pandemic and post pandemic.
- Find hope in your situation. You may not be happy with the way your life has changed. Find a way to grow from the situation.
- Motivate yourself to get up every day and do something productive.
- Journal your thoughts and feelings.
- Create plans for the future when you are comfortable to go out.
- Plan a future vacation.
- Do some physical activity.
- Create a meditation practice.
- Consult a professional if you cannot do these things on your own.
Grief is a very powerful emotion, and one that does not go away easily. It has the ability to sneak up on you when you least expect it, and you have to deal with it. Don’t look at grief as a weakness. You can learn to live with it and deal with it. You don’t need to let it debilitate you.
Meredith Kimmel, ACC is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialed, Certified Professional Coach who specializes in grief, loss, and other life transformations.
Having her own experiences with grief and loss, Meredith is passionate about helping people navigate through their difficulties and create fulfilling lives.
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