The Coronavirus Pandemic has affected our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We have come to terms with a “new normal” that has consisted of things like the need for social distancing (ie. maintaining at least 6 feet apart), the wearing of face masks and gloves in public, government stay-at-home orders, limiting gatherings of people, distance/remote learning, and working from home.

Probably the most unfortunate effects of this virus has been loss of many lives. The rate at which COVID-19 took our loved ones is very saddening. It has been reported that world-wide there have been more than 400,000 deaths with over 100,000 in the US alone. It is very devastating loosing almost half a million people in such a very short period of time, with those numbers expected to rise in the coming months. And these figures don’t include the deaths that were not related to the coronavirus. The amount of pain and grief that folks are experiencing is more than anyone could have expected.

I have experienced a number of friends and colleagues who have lost their loved ones, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. I have also had the unpleasant experience of losing my mom to natural causes back in May of 2020. The pain caused by grief can disrupt our physical wellbeing making it difficult to eat, sleep or even think straight. Because of my loss and the loss of those around me, it has led me down a journey about self-care when dealing with grief.

So what are some ways to grief during a global pandemic? Here are a few things that I have been doing to help me in my time of loss and grief:

  • Crying: This is one way of acknowledging and releasing the pain. It doesn’t matter how loud, ugly or long I need.
  • Speaking to a therapist: Being able to speak about what am feeling to a neutral party has been really helpful in navigating and unpacking different emotions.
  • Having moments of creativity: As a dancer I personally find enjoyment in arts. I have been crocheting, painting and coloring in adult coloring books.
  • Connecting to a grief support group: Finding a group of folks who can relate to your loss and how you feel is really great. Friends mean well, but maybe able to understand if they have never gone through what you are going through. I found a number of grief groups on Facebook.
  • Enjoy nature. Take your time to enjoy nature; I have slowed down to feel nature like the way the sun feels on my skin, the whispers in the wind, and the calming sound of water.

Remember there is no right or wrong way of grieving, but there are healthy ways to cope with loss and grieving process. I hope what I have been doing can help you during this difficult time.

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