in times of uncertainty and loss

It’s been an uncertain couple of months as we learn to navigate a new normal. For some of us, that means loss. Whether that’s losing a job, losing time, or losing a loved one, it all can feel overwhelming. To help those who have been suffering with this indescribable loss, we’ve asked Licensed Clinical Social Worker Deb Checketts to provide some helpful tips to guide you through your grief and uncertainty. 

People experience loss and grief in many different ways, but one of the most common things is a lack of focus. You can’t remember what you just did or where you put something. The world is going on around you and you want to shout, “Just a minute here. Do you have any idea what I’m going through?" You may feel spacy and confused. 

But what is loss? Loss of a person, an idea, a dream, a personal treasure. Loss is loss.

 

1. We typically handle loss the way we were raised to look at loss. So how do you figure out how you, in particular, look at loss? A great strategy is to do a History of Loss Graph. A loss graph starts with your “dawn of awakening” or your first memory.


Write the date or age and what event happened above the line and below the line you would write what you remember happening surrounding the loss. 

 

Age 4

Grandpa Jones Died. He lived next door.

Age 6

My dog got hit by a car and died.

Age 7

My older brother got kicked out of the house by my dad

I remember seeing my dad cry for the first time

My mom told me not to cry.

My parents wouldn’t talk about it.

 

You try to remember every loss you have had. It isn’t always easy, I promise you but it is well worth the time. What you come to discover is patterns of coping you learned from your family of origin. You can choose to continue in the same way or intentionally and purposefully choose different coping patterns.

 

2. It is important to try to keep a routine during times of loss. It is difficult to feel motivated, but remember, action leads to motivation. We are rarely just motivated. Being proactive without stuffing away your emotions is helpful. If you want to exercise just start moving. If you want to write in a journal, start with one thing you are grateful for. 

 

3. How do you know if you are grieving? Grief basically has the following emotions:

  • Denial- You don’t acknowledge what is going on.

  • Anger- You feel angry at the person who left or the situation you are in.

  • Depression- You feel blue, your sleep is affected, your eating is affected, your cry often, and you can’t find pleasure in things that usually give you pleasure.

  • Bargaining- If I would have done this then this wouldn’t have happened, etc.

  • Acceptance- Even acceptance doesn’t feel good, you find a way to keep moving forward.


You may go through all these emotions or you may skip some. They are not in any certain order and can come in various orders depending on the purpose. Processing feelings is very important. Try to keep two journals or pages right now if possible. Let one be a disposable journal where you write things that you want to work through, things that might feel even embarrassing. The other a more permanent journal where you can even add some content from the disposable journal. 

 

4. Relaxation and meditation: There are lots of wonderful apps if you don't know how to meditate on your own. Headspace or Journey are just a couple. Learning how to breathe is also key and will help calm your spirits when you feel yourself winding up.

 

5. Distract yourself with things that nurture you: Talk a walk, do a puzzle, color, write in a journal, cook, read, run, exercise, etc. However, don’t just distract yourself. Make sure whatever it is that you are doing provides a feeling of warmth and satisfaction. 

 

6. Learn to use your five senses. When you go for a walk, describe to yourself what you see. Stop and smell the flowers, touch the grass, listen to the birds. When you take a shower, look at the water, smell the soap, feel the water, taste the water, listen to the water. Be in the moment and find gratitude in each moment. 

 

7. Slow down: literally slow your movements down. If you are washing the dishes, cleaning up your home, grocery shopping, or working out, do it slowly and purposefully, once again focus on your senses. 

 

8. Try to avoid extreme thinking and speaking. Avoid using words such as everyone, no one, always, never. Avoid using shaming words such a should and must. Remember that you are where you are and remind yourself that you are doing the very best you can. 

 

9. Avoid blame. Blame is a big red flag. When you find yourself blaming someone for the way you are feeling it gets in the way of moving forward.

 

10. Here are a few other ways to help yourself come up out of your crisis and help you deal with your grief. 

  • Sleep: Getting good sleep can help your mind to focus and your body to continue functioning properly. 

  • Eat healthy foods: Gut health matters. Try eating well and it will also help your mind and body heal.

  • Exercise: We know that endorphins act as natural pain killers and can help you feel more focused and joyful. Remember you don't have to run a marathon. Just get out into the sun (even if it is a cloudy day) and move your body. 

  • Let yourself feel and don’t deny your feelings: Grief is normal and it is okay to feel your emotions. Acknowledge them and work through them. 

  • Reach out to someone who you know has experienced similar loss: We are all in this together. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

  • Get outside yourself and focus on others: Gratitude and service are a sure-fire way to step outside of your grief for a moment and allow you to feel love for those around you, which will then allow you to feel more love of self.  

 

Remember loss, grief, and anxiety manifest itself is oh so many ways. Yours won’t look and be just like the next person. Although it is important to let yourself feel, remember that emotion robs judgment. Try to deal in facts. Facts are considered as numbers, dates, and times. Letting go of judgments of yourself and others will bring peace. 

wellness — By lymbr
6 Stretches You Can Do Anywhere
performance — By riah jannah
Home Workout Using Just a Chair
wellness — By rsp nutrition
5 Changes in Habits To Improve Your Stamina
- - - -
- - - -
- - - -
- - - -

--

Hr

--

Min

--

Sec

in available credit

Go Back
$credit
In available credit
Back to return