Since the beginning of the pandemic and shelter-in-place order we have been in a constant state of adapting. We, as humans, have adapted to being stuck in a new environment, following new routines and for some taking on new roles. All these adjustments have happened under the restrictions and constraints of the new uncertainty we face.
It is important to create space to slow down and reflect on all the changes we have faced and overcome. We have adapted to new environments, workspaces, family responsibilities and social structures all while remaining six feet apart.
We need to remember we are social beings, therefore having to remain six feet apart influences our mental health. As we move through life taking on these new roles and adjusting to new boundaries and shifts, we need to remember that we are grieving the loss of connection we once shared with those around us. Below are things and thoughts we need to normalize:
- It is okay to miss hugs from family members.
- It is okay to feel a piece of intimacy missing.
- It is okay to feel lost and overwhelmed with the new physical distance.
- Learn to create space to understand and accept the feelings coming up from craving physical connection.
Grieving the loss of connection can look like many different things. Below are some ways you may experience this loss. Take time to notice and sit with the thoughts listed below:
- I am feeling angry that I do not feel close to those I love.
- I am not able to express the way I am feeling properly without my social support.
- I am finding it hard to feel clear headed and productive without those I love around me.
- I try to focus on important tasks at hand, but my mind keeps going back to those I care for and worry about, I fear for their safety and worry that I am not with them.
- This pandemic has me experiencing many new challenges that I find exceptionally hard to face when I feel alone and isolated.
If you feel the above statements resonate with you, you may be feeling grief. If you find these feelings overwhelming and impeding on your daily lives, it may be best to come and speak to a counselor at the center.
Natasha Griffin is a marriage and family therapist trainee. She is supervised by Christopher Coble, LMFT #48859.