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When the world around us seems to be entirely Coronavirus-focused – with huge political and environmental milestones passing us by almost unreported – it can be easy to forget that the world is indeed still turning, and we’re not immune from the risks which everyday life pre-COVID posed. The macro of the world is undeniably challenging right now, but what if the micro is too? We’ve put together a couple of tips for those of us coping with grief or heartbreak through these unprecedentedly challenging conditions.
There’s a universal acceptance of the challenging nature of the situation we currently find ourselves in, so facing grief or heartbreak on top of that is indisputably difficult. Acknowledge the difficulty of the situation, and try to view it as a challenge from the universe. Understand that in time you’ll look back on this with a sense of pride in (and sympathetic disbelief of) how you coped – because you will.
Limited social engagements and commitments outside of the home can be viewed as a negative thing if we simply focus on the distractions we’re missing, but try to focus instead on the extra time you have for active self-care. Indulge in meditations and long baths, in slow breakfasts and losing yourself in novels. Focus on the activities which really nourish you, and understand that taking time for yourself when you’re going through something tough means showing up better for others.
Having said that, while long hot baths and meditations have their merits, sometimes the most nourishing thing is an evening of talking rubbish with your closest friends. While everyone is coping with the challenge of partial-lockdown together, not everyone is going through a personal tragedy right now, and friends exist for the good times and the bad. If your friends don’t know what you’re going through, call them to update them, and they’ll be so glad you did. We all want to be able to support our friends through difficult times, and as social distancing guidelines ease, the chance of a soul-enriching evening of wine and conversation with close friends is becoming more than just a pipe dream.
We may be going through unprecedented global challenges, but that doesn’t belittle the pain of personal pain. Suffering is relative, and our own biggest challenge is just that in the moment: the biggest challenge. Don’t feel guilty about feeling overcome by personal grief just because the suffering of others at this time may seem greater.
Having been so recently faced with the threat of a global pandemic crippling our health system can be useful in reminding us that in time, even the most terrifying thoughts will pass. Indulge in the pain when you need to, and take comfort in the knowledge that the only constant in life is change.