The COVID -19 pandemic has seen many people experience loss and grief of profound scale. Many have lost their loved ones, their jobs, relationship, freedom, and there has also been an unprecedented disruption of usual activities, etc.
What are Grief and Loss?
We all have experienced some form of loss at various points in our lives. It is a feeling of separation from something you love. Loss is traumatic, complicated, confusing, and painful. And Grief is the natural reaction to the loss. In grief, one can feel unexpected emotions, such as: shock, anger, guilt, and profound sadness.
Grief is one of the hardest experiences that drain a lot of our energy and leaves us feeling incomplete, vulnerable, and lost. It is almost like a cycle – Grief and Loss – and very exhausting.
Can we heal from Grief and Loss?
Why, yes of course! Healing is absolutely possible. Sure, that takes time, but it is important to remember that grief is not a pathological state. It is important to bring awareness regarding grief and loss, that these are not bad. If you feel excessively overwhelmed emotionally or have difficulty sleeping, psychotropic medication can be helpful.
However, additionally, it is also equally (if not more) important to encourage each other to express our emotions. To face grief, to experience it, express it, and be honest about loss and how we feel about it. Every person’s grief is unique; and therefore, there is no right or wrong to grieving in the face of loss, and nor is there a timeline.
Some ways to deal with Grief and Loss:
Allow your emotions to flow and acknowledge them
Holding back your feelings, your pain will make them even more difficult to you as well as your surroundings. Our culture and our beliefs have made us uncomfortable to share our emotions, especially grief. It is an entirely normal reaction to express your loss. Acknowledge it. This is the first step to making it easier to process your grief.
Take your time
Grieving process takes time and it is different for each individual. Don’t force it to come out. Let it take its course. It is important to allow your grief to naturally unfold. Accept the change that has come into your life.
Share memories when you feel ready
Take it easy. As there is no rush, you can always share your grief with others when you feel safe and comfortable.
Accept your feelings and that it can be triggered in many ways
Anything can be a trigger. Any sound, smell, word, place, weather, food, time, et cetera can trigger memories of your loved ones of favourite things, which then can render you emotionally vulnerable. Accept this. It is completely Okay to be sad; to have memories and for the memories to affect you. It can take months and even years to overcome loss, whether major or minor.
Move your muscles
Your muscles can contract, become tense when we are in an overwhelming situation. In addition to the emotional and mental pain we are already feeling, this can also bring us intense physical discomfort. Take time to look after your physical health as well. Slowly move your body, your arms, your legs, and your neck. Appreciate yourself for taking these steps to change.
Treat yourself with kindness and compassion
Treat yourself like you would your best friend. In the grieving process you might completely lose yourself, but try to be gentle, kind, and compassion to yourself and know that you will feel better in time. Your loss is a part of who you are. So, take time to love yourself, care for yourself.
Take up journaling
Writing in journals and diaries can be good and comforting ways to express your emotions and thoughts. Write about your memories of the person or thing you’ve lost. Write about the dreams you have. Write about how you’re feeling. Putting your thoughts to words helps you to take things slowly at your own pace and understand yourself and your grief.
Practice spiritual rituals
To honour and commemorate your loss, you can also practice spiritual rituals, such as: lighting candles and lamps, meditating, making donations, planting trees, observing special days, et cetera. These can often bring us great comfort and calm.
Take extra rest
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Rest. Take time to address the physical and emotional exhaustion grief and loss makes you feel. Take more rest than usual.
Seek help when you feel stuck
When you feel stuck and overwhelmed, seek professional help and support, a counselor who is skilled to help you to cope with grief and loss, understand your feelings, and find ways to come back.
To sum up
We can often feel stuck in the process even when we feel like we are doing everything.
Do not fret.
Take a deep breath.
There is no such thing as a perfect time to seek professional support. Now is a good time just as any. Schedule a session immediately if you think you might be in need of assistance. We at Mankaa Kura are here to help you develop effective strategies and best practices to transform struggle into hope.