Are you experiencing grief right now? You are FAR from alone.
Aside from the obvious loss of life in the past two years, folks are feeling burnt out and stressed about this (sorta) post-COVID world.
Maybe you lost a loved one. Or perhaps the massive change and disruption of your life have given you pause to rethink your life. And that’s a pretty big order – leaving you to grieve the life you once had.
Whatever the case, grief could be likened to its own epidemic right now.
Are You Experiencing Grief Right Now?
Over six million deaths worldwide thus far were caused by COVID-19. So chances are that even if you didn’t lose someone close to you, you know someone who did.
Furthermore, your workplace environment has probably gotten a makeover. And just like loss, change – especially so much of it and at such extreme levels – can generate grief as well.
Newly toxic work environments are leaving employees feeling hopeless and worthless. As such, they’re resigning at unheard-of rates. This, in turn, creates stress for the employers.
There’s a loud call for more compassionate workplaces. Yet, this is uncharted territory for many. And while it’s much cheaper for companies to retain employees than attempt to find new ones, so many people are simply fed up with their jobs.
So it’s not at all surprising that people are feeling so much grief and despair. And yet, there are those that aren’t even aware that that’s what’s going on. Because the way each of us experiences grief is unique.
What Is Grief?
Whenever there is a loss or major change, grief can be the by-product.
Grief in this post-pandemic setting goes beyond just the loss of a loved one. All of the things that once brought so many a feeling of peace and stability have changed. And we’re are feeling the loss.
You or someone you know may be feeling more irritable or angry, noticing changes in sleeping patterns and appetite, having difficulty concentrating, or simply feeling no interest in activities that once brought joy.
Yet, while some people retreat and allow grief to wash over them – fully feeling the adverse effects of these losses and changes – others may busy themselves with work to try to avoid facing the pain. Then there are those attempting to mask the grief with unhealthy coping strategies.
Unfortunately, there is no way to move through grief quickly. Especially given the multiple life-altering changes most of us have experienced. Furthermore, not being able to mourn and cope with losses in the traditional ways has also prolonged the grieving experience.
But it’s important to remember that grief is not a problem that needs to be solved. Grief comes in waves and moving through it requires great patience – whether for yourself or someone else who’s experiencing it.
Moving Through Grief
There’s no way around grief. You have to move through it. And actively engaging the grief is going to be the most effective way to move forward.
Recognizing and naming all of your losses is a great way to start. It could be the loss of a loved one. But the loss of a job, a pet, or a child going off to college can also trigger grief. Look at and address each source of grief individually.
Furthermore, as much as you may want to isolate yourself, stay connected with people. And honor whatever it is you’ve lost. Maybe listen to music that reminds you of the person you lost or set up a Zoom meeting with former coworkers to still feel that connection with your old job. These people or things may be gone, but they needn’t be forgotten.
Rituals are important too. They give structure to your grief and this can be healing. Whether it’s a religious ceremony, an art project, a yoga practice, a regular meditation, whatever it is that moves you, engage in it.
Finally, as we mentioned above, be graceful and compassionate with yourself. Grief is a process that can feel awful and unpredictable. When you begin to lift out of it, you may be dropped back into it. That just means you’re moving through it exactly as you should.
Like much of life, healing from grief is not a linear process.
Looking For Your Own Way Through Grief?
With such a wide array of people experiencing so much grief now, you never need to feel alone or somehow faulty.
And if you’re interested in finding out how yoga or other mindfulness practices could help you move through your own process, please feel free to contact us.
We offer yoga on both a virtual basis, as well as being able to bring it right to your place of work. Find out how this healthy ritual can help you ride out the waves of grief.