OT: Make space for grief

Posted by Joanne | April 21st, 2020 | Blog

About two weeks ago, I was one of the speakers for a virtual session on productivity.

As the session wrapped, each of us was asked if we had any parting words or advice on how to cope during the upcoming weeks of quarantine.

“Give yourself a little grace,” advised my co-panelist Tedi Bezna.
“Yes,” I agreed. “And give yourself permission to grieve.”

As the time for isolation grows longer, we’ve been forced into dealing with emotions, feelings and situations that we’ve never before had to confront.

These are not ordinary times. People are losing their lives. People are losing loved ones. People are losing jobs, homes, businesses—their livelihoods. And even you aren’t in a position of loss, you might feel overwhelmed enough to cry.

Understand that your response to the current state of affairs is normal; we all experience and cope with big emotions differently. And if you need help dealing with your feelings, here are a few tips that may get you through:

Indulge in some self-care

This directive seems to be everywhere lately, but it couldn’t be more imperative right now. Tending to your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.Refrain from using alcohol or drugs to “numb the pain.”

Feel your feels

You may try to suppress your grief, but the reality is you can’t avoid it. At some point, it’s important to acknowledge and deal with what you’re feeling. Avoidance only prolongs the healing process, and may lead to more complicated feelings of depression and anxiety.

Talk to people you trust

Unfortunately, social isolation may compound the sadness, and you might actually feel like you need to further withdraw.

Try not to let social isolation rules prevent you from seeking connection—just be careful to choose only those you trust to be your sounding board. Emotions can be just as contagious as coronavirus, so avoid talking to people who skew negative, or those who reinforce and ramp up your fears.

Remember: It’s perfectly all right NOT to feel all right during this time. And don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. Periodt. ?

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