How My Experience With Grief & Loneliness Prepared Me Emotionally During COVID-19

Have you felt anxious, stressed, sad, tired, angry, restless, or in a fog like you are living in a different dimension lately? If you answered yes, you are not alone. I believe we are experiencing grief and loneliness as we stay strong in our fight to stay healthy as individuals and as a country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We grieve the many things we were able to do with friends, family or co-workers. We feel lonely or disconnected from our staying home in effort to stay safe and healthy. I understand.

In 2016, I was so excited to marry the man of my dreams! We were in our forties, and opted to combine our wedding and honeymoon so we traveled to a destination out of the country. Prior to leaving the USA, we talked with my mom and my futre in-laws. We felt blessed and blissful! The day after arriving at our destination, I received a message sharing that my mom had suddenly passed away from a pulmonary embolism. My world would never be the same.

I understand what it is like to not be able to see your loved one, visit them in a hospital, hold their hand, give them a hug, or hear their voice. I understand what it is like to virtually make funeral arrangements. I understand what it is like to go back to your life feeling so disconnected and detached. I had to learn how to grow through grief and loneliness.

  1. Learn to like to being alone with yourself. If you are unable to like being with yourself or are bored being alone with yourself, then how will anybody feel connected to you or want to be around you? This is an opportunity for you to do your best self-care. Love yourself. Create new goals. Honor the process.
  2. Release your expectations of yourself, your intimate relationships, friends, family & others. By doing this, you set healthy boundaries which will be rewarding for your emotional health.
  3. Visit social media with intention. In 2016, I attempted to escape my loneliness by being on social media more often. It was August – December during the Presidential campaign. Toxic political posts in my feed only triggered sadness, anxiety and stress. What I found helpful was to limit my time on social media. It became optimized when I used it for (1) personal growth (2) professional growth. Intentionally seek out motivation, empowerment, mindset boosting affirmations, and for those you consider mentors or leaders that you can learn from to hone your career craft.

In times like these, you have 2 choices to overcome grief and loneliness. You can choose to nurture existing relationships or form new ones. The most important relationship is the connection with yourself.

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