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Coping with grief (September 2020)

Losing a loved one, no matter what the circumstances, is one of the most difficult things that we go through. It can be even tougher when we have to be socially distanced from our usual support networks.

With all the changes happening due to COVID-19, it is understandable to miss ‘normal’ life and mourn the loss of what you thought 2020 was going to be. We are all feeling a shared sense of grief during this time but will be experiencing it in very different ways. Grief affects everyone differently, and there are no set rules to grieving.

Here are some ideas on how to cope with your grief during COVID-19. If you have any other suggestions, please do send them to us at contactus@health-in-mind.org.uk.

Connect with the people around you

Finding people to talk to about how you’re feeling, whether it’s a friend, a colleague, family member or someone you just met, can help you understand your grief and allow you to process it. Connecting with people can also help to boost your mood and can remind you of the positive things still happening around us.

Understand when you need to look for practical or emotional support too. There are lots of organisations that you can reach out to speak to.

Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you

Your experience is unique to you - there is no script or guidelines to how you should or shouldn’t be feeling. It is okay if you are dealing with your grief in a different way to the people around you. Try and take some time to understand your own needs during this time.

Keep up your hobbies and interests

Taking part in activities that have previously brought you joy can be a great way to bring back a bit of normality. This could be doing something creative, reading a book, playing video games or cooking. You can do these activities alone or with other people, it is up to you.

Look after your physical health

Make sure you take the time to look after yourself. Physical activity and exercise can boost your mental health and wellbeing and can also help you feel more present. You could go for a walk, do some stretches, go for a cycle or play a sport. It’s also important to eat regularly and make sure that you are getting enough sleep.

Try mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you feel more present and allow you to accept how you are feeling in a safe and non-judgmental way. Mindfulness activities are a great way to relieve some of the difficult emotions tied up with grief such as anxiety, sadness and stress. 

You will cope with this in your own way and in your own time. Things will change, and some days will be better than others, so be kind and patient with yourself.

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