by Jonathan Borowiec
Behavior Support Specialist and Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee
Edgewood Center for Children and Families
With Covid-19 still prevalent in our society, ongoing fires raging throughout parts of California, and so many other significant life changes occurring, we are all impacted and are forced to deal with a sense of loss. We have lost a sense of normalcy, our routines, seeing our friends, going to work, or perhaps even loved ones. Maybe you are holding onto a lot of emotional pain from your loss and don’t know what to do, or maybe you see this emotional pain in your children and are unsure of how to help them. Our feelings of grief may cause you or your child to feel numb, angry, disbelief, or unable to feel positive emotions like happiness. Other symptoms might include trouble sleeping, eating concerns, feeling very tired all the time, or withdrawing away from others. These feelings can be terrible to go through, but there are ways to begin processing your feelings of loss or helping someone else.
According to an article, Coronavirus Grief: Coping with the loss of routine during the pandemic, you can deal with grief by:
- Pay attention to your feelings. Name what you’ve lost due to the pandemic. It might help to write this down in a journal. Allow yourself to feel sadness or cry.
- Think about your strengths and coping skills. How can they help you move forward? Consider other tough transitions you’ve been through, such as a previous job change or divorce. What did you do that helped you recover?
- Stay connected. Don’t let social distancing prevent you from getting the support you need. Use phone calls, text messages, video chats, and social media to stay in touch with family and friends who are positive and supportive. Reach out to those in similar situations. Pets also can provide emotional support.
- Create an adapted routine. This can help preserve a sense of order and purpose, despite how much things may have changed. In addition to work or online learning, include activities that might help you cope, such as exercise, worship or hobbies. Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to maintain a healthy diet.
- Limit your news diet. Spending too much time reading or listening to news about the COVID-19 pandemic can cause you to focus heavily on what you’ve lost, as well as increase anxiety.
- Remember the journey. If you’ve lost your job, you don’t have to let the way it ended define the whole experience. Consider some of your good memories and the big picture. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
We will all get through this together. You may always ask for help from others, call the Edgewood Crisis Line, or contact grief counseling services that can be online or over the phone.
Other resources to help are:
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network –
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- CDC – Coping with loss from a break in our sense of normalcy and routines
- CDC – Coping with grief from the loss of a loved one
- Mayo Clinic. 2020. Coronavirus Grief: Coping with the loss of routine during the pandemic. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coping-with-coronavirus-grief/art-20486392> [Accessed 27 September 2020].