The loss of a loved one is never easy to live with, but the pandemic has made it uniquely challenging. When you most need your closest family members and friends around you, you must stay socially distant. It amplifies the grief, but there are a few ways to manage that.
As you navigate your grief and heartbreak, you'll know how to take care of yourself and begin to heal.
1. Extend extra self-compassion.
Many people first react to death with blame. You could wish you did something different or shoulder the responsibility of the loss in some way. Judgment for how you react to tragedy or what happened before it only hurts you further.
As you process your loss, remind yourself to extend a little extra self-compassion. Advocate for yourself against judgmental thoughts. Remember that you're human. No one is perfect or heals effortlessly after a death.
2. Embrace what you feel.
Shutting out your emotions only boxes them away for later. They could come back more intensely and cause you to experience signs of incomplete grief, like anger or hyper-alertness.
Acknowledge your emotions, and embrace what you feel. Even though you might lose yourself in sadness or need someone to take care of you for a while, you'll give your mind time to work through the stages of grief so you can come to a place of acceptance.
3. Try self-care habits.
When you're all cried out or vented your anger in healthy ways, soothe yourself with self-care to comfort your heart and steady your breathing. Self-care looks after your mental and physical needs after times of stress, anxiety or heartbreak.
Try habits like sitting in a warm bath or relaxing with a good book. Your self-care practices will be activities that calm your spirit and comfort you in difficult moments. Even sitting in the sun or breathing fresh air can restore your peace of mind.
Before you lock into any new habits, learn about potentially destructive self-care, which can seem beneficial but hurt you in the long run. Overeating unhealthy comfort food or overexercising are a few ways you might unknowingly damage your health under the guise of recovering from a loss.
4. Make a few phone calls.
Social distancing doesn't mean you have to feel isolated. There are people out there ready to help you, so make a few phone calls if you feel alone in your grief.
Family and friends will want to stand by your side when you want to remember your lost loved one by talking about them. Ask for help in getting groceries or child care if you're struggling. Even discussing how they dealt with past grief might help you find your way forward.
It's also smart to remember you're not financially alone, either. When you face expensive memorial service or funeral costs, a probate cash advance can make things easier. Unlike a loan, these advances don't charge an interest rate like loans, so you won't have to worry about adding to your existing debt to take care of your lost loved one.
However you need support, people are waiting to assist you. Reach out with a few phone calls to get the financial and emotional care you need.
5. Look into counseling.
Therapists walk people through all kinds of loss. Look into counseling options to discover affordable at-home options like apps and virtual appointments with local therapists. They'll catch depressive symptoms that may require different kinds of care, either through lifestyle changes or medical intervention. In-person offices can work with you on a sliding scale so your financial situation doesn't keep you from getting assistance.
6. Honor your loved ones.
Staying socially distanced keeps people from saying goodbye to loved ones in person or participating in beloved traditions. If you have to miss a memorial service or funeral, find a new way to memorialize your loss.
Plant a tree in your yard or create a photo album you can flip through. Sometimes, it helps to have a tangible memorial you can hold or sit by when grief rolls over you. Memorializing is a way to say goodbye and let go without endangering your health by breaking the recommended pandemic safety precautions.
7. Take your time.
Grief can take time, so have patience with yourself. Coping with 2020 deaths won't look the same as potential past loss or grief. Use these tips to move forward through healthy, restorative habits and lifestyle changes.