We all are going through massive changes and higher levels of stress than normal. This pandemic has taken us by storm and we are having to get used to a lot of changes at once. We are trying to stay positive amongst the freak outs.
Here’s the thing though! You don’t always have to be positive[you know me and I always find something positive]. It’s okay to grieve the loss of your vacation, your freedom to go to the gym, your ability to interact with people face to face, and more. Some of you are grieving the loss of a job, the shuttering of your business. What’s more? You don’t have to do all of this with a smile on your face. Grieve!
The 5 stages of grief are:
1. Denial and Isolation
Remember, you might not go through them in that order, you might not even go through all of them, you might go through them and jump back to the beginning [I am not a therapist, a quick google will tell you all of this]! But it is okay to go through them and it is okay to go through them the way that you are meant to go through them.
Okay, that all said? You can absolutely choose how you respond [and for me, that is choosing positivity and joy] and how you let things affect you [recognizing we are all going through this]. It is so true, you can grieve and still make that choice. You don’t have to let your grief consume you, you don’t have to reach for unhealthy responses and habits to cope.
I have had to grieve the loss of spending time with friends and family. As an extravert, limiting my time with people is excrutiating! I’ve totally gone through the stages [I am not done yet, I still have things on the calendar that likely won’t happen, but the eternal optimist in me isn’t giving up on them yet] over the changes in my daily routine. I have had to grieve the cancellation of events that I was really looking forward to.
The ways that I have chosen to grieve the losses have definitely been choices, absolutely. Have I wanted to stamp my feet, throw things, and scream? [Yes, essentially a temper tantrum.] Have I wanted to take it out on those around me [as if they could change it]? Of course I have!
What I actually did though? I found ways to keep doing my yoga. I renewed my library card and got books out of the library. I have made alternative plans [that also were canceled] to make up for the canceled events. I have searched for ways to give myself what I need in order to stay healthy [yay for self care!] both physically and mentally. I have explored new trails and tried new recipes. I have maintained my daily gratitude practice [which is something I suggest everyone take up] and focused on doing something every day for myself [reading, writing, knitting, decluttering, and more] and what I think has been the most important [for me] is choosing positivity and joy every day.
I know, that seems exactly the opposite of what I said above [You don’t have to do all of this with a smile on your face.] but that is how I am choosing to respond and it doesn’t make it the right way, the best way, or the only way. It makes it my way.
So tell me, what have you had to grieve? How are you coping? How are you choosing to respond?