Dealing With Loss and Grief: The 2020's Edition

It’s safe to say that no one expected the curveball that 2020 tossed at us. Starting with COVID - and if a global pandemic wasn’t enough - there were lockdowns, quarantines, protests, economic crises, natural calamities, tear jerking elections and much more. COVID-19 brought a lot of destruction in its wake, and with it came so much loss and grief, from which we still receive aftershocks.


It spared none. Everyone was and still is affected by it.


The life-altering new normal came into effect almost overnight. Sanitisers and masks became the latest fashionable accessories, everyone was socially distanced from their loved ones and frontline workers showed tremendous amounts of bravery by putting their lives on the line for COVID patients.


We did not just lose people during the fight against COVID, we also lost parts of our lives. People have lost jobs to unemployment, houses to floods and wildfires, faced huge losses and dealt with grief due to the pandemic. We stopped participating and engaging with the outdoors and other people and that has left major impacts on our lives.


There are many stories that people have about their time living in lockdown. Mental health issues are sparking up due to forced isolation from family and friends, cases of abuse have reached astronomical heights and people face trauma almost every day in their life.


There were also good things that sparked out of it. People have started taking self-care more seriously and reaching out for help has never been more accessible.


Some people are thriving, some are facing huge losses. Some people become massively successful right away, for others it takes time. The ability to be successful comes from your ability to consistently show up and keep going.


However their choice to use their time during this difficult period is relevant. Whether they were sheltered to cope with loss or grief, or whether they chose positivity and productivity - it is important to remember that all their experiences were valid. In these trying times, people don’t need the weight of expectations to worsen their situation.


This anxiety caused by a current issue/cause like COVID and its resulting lockdowns and quarantine might be just an "activating event" while the "triggering event" (the original one which causes them issues like anxiety, anger and depression) is rooted in their past traumatic experiences. Forced isolation and distancing tends to trigger the memories of trauma, which can start a downward spiral into low moods which the COVID pandemic had activated.


So next time you hear someone tell you about how hard life has been for them due to the pandemic - whether it was to search for jobs, gaining/losing weight, developing bad habits, or even just complaining about not being able to go outside - cut them some slack. Whether it is to you or not, all those stated above can be traumatic events.


No one was prepared to cope with this, so you shouldn’t expect them to live as they would pre-COVID.


To put a positive spin on the pandemic, it has helped people realise their inner potential. Small businesses are receiving support, people are inculcating self-care practices like gardening, crafts, yoga and exercise into their lives. Some people find the motivation to create a positive focus on other things than loss and grief. Some people just need a little push to do the same.


Go back to the core issue of this anxiety and isolation. Some people thrive alone and some don’t. People change jobs all the time. What is making you think subconsciously that life is over? Once you find out all your answers, you will be able to build confidence and work on those steps to come out of anxiety, loss and grief. Resilience is what we need.


Your pathway to finding the resilience you need can be paved with the help of RTT.


Mindset is key. Staying calm and trusting the mind to do what it is designed to do. You can set up boundaries for fear, put self-care first and look after your body. By listening and responding to your energy as you make changes, you can shift from a state of despair to a state where you can healthily cope with your grief.


We only fear what we feel powerless towards, so take back control over your life. Don’t let go of your good habits and routines, try to keep it up even during this period. Even if it’s something as simple as showering and getting dressed up for the day, do it with purpose. Immersing yourself into a daily routine can be the start of feeling calm and at peace with oneself.


You were not prepared for COVID but you can be ready for the obstacles that in places on your road to succession. Don't lose your faith in yourself. Place trust in the process of Aruna Kalaiselvi Therapy - it can help you adjust to the new normal by unlocking more compassion and more understanding that’s within you so that you can begin to take more consistent action in the direction of your goals.


© 2020 Aruna Kalaiselvi Therapy.