Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a challenging, painful process. Grieving during the COVID-19 pandemic presents its own unique hurdles that can involve even more stress and uncertainty. There are many different ways to cope during these difficult times, including using tools like meditation, connecting with loved ones remotely and teletherapy.
When someone dies, family and friends typically come together to lend each other support, mourn the loss of their loved one and celebrate that person’s life. The need for social distancing during the pandemic has made this virtually impossible. Many people find healing in hugs and other forms of physical touch, which is also off limits right now. Those who have lost a loved one to the pandemic may not even have gotten the chance to say goodbye and being barred from holding a funeral or memorial service can interfere with the grieving and healing process.
With less in-person support from friends and family, those who are grieving may feel more isolated and lonelier. Staying indoors has led to lower activity levels, which gives people more time to ruminate on their circumstances and feelings. Even if you’re still working, high levels of stress, constantly being reminded of illness and death, and uncertainty about the future can take a toll on your mental health. That’s why many people are turning to teletherapy to help them make it through.
Although it’s not easy, there are things you can do to take care of yourself while grieving during these challenging times.
Be compassionate with yourself. Suffering the loss of someone you love during this health crisis is tougher than it would be if everything was normal. Cutting yourself some slack and acknowledging that it’s more challenging can help you avoid falling into a hole of self-criticism. There are tons of outside sources of stress as well, so be gentle with yourself and remember that what’s happening is not anything you can control and that feeling sad or depressed is a natural part of the grieving process.
Stay connected. It’s tempting to detach when you’re feeling down, but the circumstances of the pandemic make it all too easy to become socially isolated. Make an effort to stay in touch by scheduling video chats with loved ones. Call or text with friends and family daily. Contacting your therapist and setting up a teletherapy session can also help you process your feelings and find coping skills that can help you through these difficult times.
Allow yourself to grieve, but practice self-care too. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with crying, looking at photos and talking about the person who has passed, but make sure to balance it with activities that restore and uplift you. Hobbies, exercise, meditation, reading, going for a walk, and enjoying time with pets can all be very healing and help you be more present. The 24/7 coverage of the pandemic can be a source of anxiety for many. Cutting down on the time you spend watching the news can also help you feel less sad or anxious.
If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one and need help coping during the pandemic, Kayenta Therapy is here for you. Contact a therapist directly to schedule a teletherapy session today.