We're in for it, folks.
Not only is the Covid-19 pandemic rampaging around our nation, seemingly without any checks, but there will be a second, more problematic pandemic behind it.
Our mental health.
It’s not my intention to get political here, but, regardless of your beliefs, it cannot be denied that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of Covid-19. And millions more have been affected by the efforts to ameliorate the pandemic, whether those efforts included job changes, losses or difficulties, or quarantine, or schooling issues, or many other things that have happened in the past 11 months.
And there will be a lot of grief.
Not just because nearly all of us have lost someone to the pandemic, but also because every one of us who has not lost someONE has lost someTHING.
Freedom to live the way we love to live.
Family gatherings – holidays, reunions and so on.
Important life events – graduations, weddings, funerals.
Travel plans, even just the ability to go for a weekend away.
School changes – this affects kids, parents, teachers and administrators, too.
Job changes – losing jobs, jobs changing and different roles, rules and practices.
In so many areas, our lives have changed. And with changes come challenges, and often, grief.
So what do we do? How can we cope in these changing and difficult times? Here are some of our best suggestions for thriving during these times and mitigating the grief that is sure to come.
First of all, as with any difficulty, it’s important to eat, sleep and exercise, and to keep your routines as familiar as possible.
Get outside. Move your body, however you can.
Consider prayer, or meditation. These help lower your breathing and stress level and calm your anxiety.
Connect with others is safe ways that foster community health – such as using masks, social distancing, time and group size limits, virtual options, and personal hygiene issues. Don’t gather with those who either have the virus or have been exposed within the past 14 days.
Know that almost everyone is stressed, even if they don’t admit it.
Take breaks from news and social media. If you do choose to listen to the news, either practice watching a wide variety of sources, or be sure of the quality of the sources you do choose so you avoid tunnel-vision which feels good, but can ultimately be more upsetting.
Have compassion for yourself as well, because no one is a superperson!
This, too, will pass. The scary feelings of today will leave someday. By many accounts, help is on the way, with treatments and vaccines looming on the horizon. In the meantime, do what you can to make yourself as healthy as you can, and to survive and even thrive in these troubled times.
If you are struggling with grief, anxiety or something else, contact us. At Sanctuary Christian Counseling we help grieving individuals, distressed kids and teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.
Sanctuary Christian Counseling
9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4 and online
Shippensburg, PA 17257