Originally, we were going to publish this last week but with all the chaos in the world, we just couldn’t find the words to write. For the first time, it was truly a struggle for us to find the words. So, here is our delayed blog.
Being quarantined is hard enough. Add grief to the mix and it takes on a whole new dimension. At the same time, our nation has entered into a major mix of events and emotions. Honestly, we are struggling with handling all of the world events as many of you have been. Prayer and hope are our tools at this point.
So...add to this mix of world events the additional grief of losing a spouse. How do you cope with everything going on while missing the spouse you have lost? Depression is real. Add to it the isolation of the time and it takes on a whole different dimension of grief. Who do you turn to? How do you cope?
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll almost 50% of adults indicate that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their mental health. If you’re experiencing deep grief it’s not unusual to feel depressed. When you add pandemic grief and recent events, the depression and emotions associated with your loss tend to take on new levels. It’s a normal part of grief to feel these emotions - all of them. It’s normal to have these feelings in a time that is not at all normal.
Depression is a normal part of the grief journey. Grief vs. Depression - is an article we wrote to help discern the differences. In our resources, we have information on the stages of grief. Please feel free to reference these resources to assist you in your journey.
How can grief show up- especially during a pandemic in isolation?
- feeling drained at the end of the day
- fatigued more than normal
- higher rates depression or sadness
- higher feelings anxiety
- difficulty concentrating
- making mistakes
- Lack of motivation – (I don’t wannas, Do I really have to?, etc.)
- PTSD symptoms
- feeling antsy
- Pain – headaches, body aches, etc.
- Restlessness or the opposite lethargy
- Feeling hopelessness
- Anger – lashing out maybe
- Sleep issues – too much, too little, Irregular difficulty going to sleep and/or waking up
- Eating issues – too much, too little, cravings, binging
You really can’t visit with your support group or friends like we used to. There are online groups but online just isn’t the same as in person and doesn't fulfill that social need to connect. Grief in isolation is a blog that we wrote that may assist in this time as we all struggle to find our way.
What can you do when this quarantine grief depression begins to set in?
- Acknowledge what your feeling
- Prayer and spiritual practices
- Learn something new -a new skill, hobby, craft
- Download a new learning app or game (mindfully use the time on a device)
- Keep a daily routine
- Get outside
- Picnic outside
- Read a book outside
- Take a mindfulness walk – noticing what you see.
- Soak in sunlight as often as you can. 10 min/day. sit near a window
- Exercise- take a walk -bike ride - go for run
- Take a drive out in nature- see something different – social distancing & staying safe
- Grab some take out & drive to a nice view or park if it’s open & safe
- Limit news & social media – be mindful how they make you feel
- Plan for something
- Keep socially connected
- Connect to at least 3 people (phone calls, zoom, etc)
- Make sure to have some private just you time
- Just you doing what you like - reading a good book for me, bath, fav podcast, hobby or meditating
While the pandemic and recent events have turned our world upside down in addition to our individual worlds having suffered a loss, we have faith that we will all get through this. Our hope is that our words will assist you in processing your grief in these chaotic times.
We are here for you and welcome you to reach out to us and let us know what you would like us to write about in this very unprecedented time.
May Peace and Blessings surround all of us.
Peace, Blessings & Love,
Teresa & Jeni