Podcast of the blog
The Covid-19 pandemic has altered our realities significantly. It crashed into our lives and took our choice for human touch and social contact. And the most difficult of all that it never gave us the chance to allow ourselves to feel our personal and collective grief.
Yes. Grief. The dictionary defines it as ‘ keen mental suffering or distress over loss’. But we know mere words can never give justice to the lived burden of such traumatic loss.
Prior to the pandemic we had a chance to mourn for our loved ones in the warmth of our family and friends, the sense of connectedness working as a needed balm in painful times. Today we are bound in the confines of our homes, trying not to buckle under this grief alone, feeling helpless and guilt for forces not under our control.
Numbness, anger, heaviness, daze, shock, tears, or avoidance – these have been some common strategies to deal with grief before the pandemic. But now with human contact so limited, the intensity of such emotions seems to be all the more threatening.
So how can you help yourself and others around you during these unprecedented times?
- Acknowledge it’s presence when you feel physically safe. Denying oneself the experience of loss can be burdening.
- Understanding that it is a slow process and takes time. Allow yourself that time.
- Grief comes in varied forms and is different for everyone. It is easy to indulge in comparison. Understanding the individual nature of grief can help in the process of grieving.
- It is valid to feel whatever you are feeling and can feel better when expressed in adaptive ways.
- Try to make and follow regular eating and sleeping schedules.
- Talking to people who you trust and find comfort in can help alleviate the loneliness. You are not alone.
- It is okay to seek support from a mental health professional. They can help you in significant ways.
If you know someone who is grieving, try to check on them within your relationship boundaries. Instead of sympathy or pity, help them out where they need it – groceries, food, medicines, social support.
The pandemic has truly shown our need for social touch and connectedness. Remember that during these trying times, even if through the screen, the essence that there is someone out there who cares for us can be enough.