Take This Time to Listen: We Have Two Ears and One Mouth for a Reason

Take This Time to Listen: We Have Two Ears and One Mouth for a Reason

As the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing wear on, we are all facing collective loss.

Each day we hear news about the spread of the virus, reported cases, and tragic stories of suffering and loss.

We are all experiencing loss of some kind. Southwest Counseling Service and Sweetwater County Prevention want to help you understand how to cope with grief and loss.

Grief is a normal response to loss. There are many types of loss: death of a loved one, loss of job/relationship, missing a life event (i.e. graduation, a sporting season, or loss of daily routine).

Loss can disrupt both your physical and mental health. Grief and how you grieve is personal and looks different for everyone. Some people experience a whole range of feelings which may include denial, anger, depression, and acceptance.

Unresolved grief may lead to depression, anxiety or substance abuse, which may require professional help…This is an extremely difficult time, and whatever feelings you are feeling are all normal reactions to an overwhelming situation.

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There is no set timetable for working through grief, but here are some suggestions to help you cope with grief and loss you may be experiencing during this time:

1.) Take Care of You:

  • Recognize and acknowledge your physical and/or emotional pain. REMEMBER grief is a normal response to loss.
  • Pay attention to your body’s needs. You may have any changes in your sleeping and eating habits—and that’s okay!
  • There is no set end date for your grief. Be kind to yourself.
  • Face your feelings. Being sad, angry, guilty or number be part of your process. Allow space to feeling whatever you feel.
  • Give yourself permission to feel happy and to laugh.
  • Grief is personal and complicated. There is no set standard for grief
  • Extend yourself some extra gentleness through this time.
  • Treat yourself like someone you love, who is worth taking care of.
  • Feed yourself as well as possible and sleep as best you can.

2.) Relax & Reduce Stress

  • Expect grief “triggers” to come up and plan how to cope with them!
  • Understanding that this time may bring up old painful memories and remember to fall back on a plan.
  • Maintain your hobbies and interests.
  • Give yourself breaks from the news, and offer yourself ways of relaxing and letting go of tension.
  • Find a spiritual connection. Do what works for you—mediate, pray, or commune in nature!
  • Express your feelings in creative ways.

3.) Check in With Others

  • Stay in touch with friends and family who understand your loss.
  • Join virtual support groups—it is helpful to know you are not alone!
  • Reach out to a counselor to talk about your loss.
  • Also keep in mind that you’re probably dealing with the additional challenge of being cut off from many of the supports and ways of coping that are as important as we face current traumas and heal from past ones.

4.) Engage and Connect

  • Tune into your relationships, significant others, friends, children and coworkers who may be experiencing loss too.
  • Be sensitive to each other’s grieving process—it may look different than yours.
  • Learn new ways to cope and maintain your mental well-being.

During this time, it is important that we listen—really listen. More than anything else, make room for your experience to be what it is, without judging or criticizing yourself. You’re human, and you’re having a human reaction. Be Kind to yourself. Listen to your body. Take time to listen to other around you. What they are saying and not saying.

If you are struggling, know that seeking help is a strength—not a weakness. Remember that the anxiety you’re experiencing is normal. But by focusing on what we can control, limiting information, taking care of ourselves, keeping our routines, creating space to unwind/relax, and staying connected, you can care for you mental and emotional health throughout this time.

Southwest Counseling Service and Sweetwater County Prevention want to remind you of the following resources:

Together WE can make it through this.

Southwest Counseling Service on-call services are available and operating 24 hours-7 days a week: (307) 352-6677

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Reference: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html