As life difficulties persist and the pandemic lingers, the feelings of loss, isolation, and loneliness are increasing. These things over time can impact both our physical and mental health.
One of the most important things we can do is to acknowledge the losses we are experiencing. Taking note of our feelings and expressions of grief is the first step to identify ways to take the best care we can of ourselves.
Things people can do to help cope with this grief they are feeling:
• Express your needs. It’s alright to let people know what is and isn’t helpful right now.
• Help someone else. It may be helpful to volunteer or make a donation to a favorite cause in memory of what you have lost.
• Give yourself time. There is no set time limit to be done grieving, but grief usually softens and changes over time.
• Be aware of your feelings. Allow yourself to mourn and feel sadness. Identify what you have lost.
• Name your strengths and coping skills. Consider other times of loss you’ve gone through. What did you do to help get through it? What skills can you draw upon now?
• Stay connected. Use phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media to stay in touch with family and friends if you can’t see them in person. Reach out to those in similar situations.
• Limit your news intake. Spending too much time reading or listening to news can cause you to focus heavily on what you’ve lost, as well as increase anxiety. Find a healthy balance to stay informed without overdoing it.
• Reflect on the journey. Your loss doesn’t define your whole experience. Consider some of the good memories and the big picture.
Remember: We need to give ourselves permission to grieve our losses while also creating some new practices which can assist in our healing and increase mental well-being.
You are not alone. There is help 24/7!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and need support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.