Dealing with Losses Caused by COVID-19
Updated: Mar 31
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a new reality marked by significant loss and grief. Even after social distancing restrictions are lifted, many social events such as weddings, meetings, family gatherings, and traveling canceled or reduced to the minimum, many people are feeling isolated. Many are feeling uncomfortable and unsafe to meet and socialize for fear of contracting the deadly virus, and this is causing a toll. Being confined in one place can be traumatizing as human beings are social creatures by nature.
Something you may or may not realize is that we are experiencing grief and loss in a lot of different ways. Our old routines are gone, some businesses have shut down, and probably the most painful one, the loss of loved ones.
Loss of Business
In the wake of the pandemic, citizens are losing jobs and businesses closing down, leading to financial losses. The closures are not helping the already stressed population as people are anxious about how they are going to survive through the pandemic with little or no income.
During times of economic hardship, anxiety rises and this can be transferred into our personal lives and relationships. This can result in panic attacks, lack of sleep, appetite changes, and tension in the family and romantic relationships.
Worrying about the health of others
Worrying about the health of loved ones is another form of grief because we have lost the peace of not having to worry about this. Since a lot of people are not yet meeting physically, people are worried about how they are and if they are doing enough to protect themselves from the virus.
Death of a loved one from the Virus
Other people are dealing with the loss of loved ones due to the coronavirus and the worst thing is that they are not even able to see them for the last time to say good-bye or attend the burials. Mourning alone is difficult and can also lead to emotional difficulties, and this is what many people who have lost relatives and close friends are going through. Seek a professional or look for grief support groups that are held online to help you deal with this grief. You do not have to do it alone. Many providers are giving online sessions. Also, honor the loved ones who have died, such as doing a virtual gathering with your family and friends to reminisce on the happy days you had with who you have lost.
I think it is needless to say, but COVID19 is definitely affecting our mental health!
Disruption of our regular routines in every day’s life brings about the uneasiness and sadness that almost everybody is experiencing at the moment. The same way people grieve about divorces or loss of jobs, they are experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic. The mental health of both the affected and unaffected populations is compromised during this pandemic period. Several factors are contributing to this mental instability such as job losses, loss of loved ones, changes in everyday routines, and fear of the future. All these have led to heightened stress and anxiety.
How to deal with Grief
Since it seems the virus will be with us for some time, learning how to deal with the grief from all the current losses could be helpful. It doesn’t matter the kind of loss you are experiencing, know that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone in all this.
Guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) discourages large crowds, gatherings, and unnecessary traveling. I personally think we messed up by calling “Social Distancing” instead of “Physical Distancing”. When we mourn, we need people around us, we need to connect, which makes it hard when you cannot be present with the family or friends. But you can still socialize virtually. It is vital to reach out even though not physically, you can do this through phone calls as well as through social internet networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, Skype and Whatsapp where you can easily share your fears and worries. Getting in touch with loved ones also helps know how they are doing, and that way worry lessens.
In case you are struggling with immense grief feelings like loss of a job, or death of a loved one, a mental health professional’s help may come in handy. Due to physical distancing recommended to fight the virus, many therapists are offering support through online platforms.
Practice Healthy Coping Techniques
Talking about your feelings and emotions with people you trust or a professional
But most importantly, remember that whether you are grieving over finances or a loved one, you are not alone!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Perinatal & Relationships Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationship with their children and significant other. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Perinatal Mental Health Certified Professional, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter and son, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com
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