Living in lockdown has been tough on all of us. The isolation and change in our daily routines have been challenging to overcome. On top of this, if you are grieving the death of a loved one, then the process only becomes more suffocating. 

If you’re finding coping with grief particularly challenging right now, remember you’re not alone. Here are just some of the reasons why your grief may have intensified over the past couple of months. 

1. Lockdown increases feelings of isolation

For many people, grieving can be a lonely and isolating time. Naturally, being in lockdown can significantly exacerbate this, especially if you live alone or you are shielding for your own health concerns. 

2. Lockdown and COVID19 have brought death, grief and loss to the forefront

Right now, it can feel like there is no escape from grief and loss. It is everywhere around us in public life, in the media and in everyday conversations. This can make our own private grief feel even more intense and inescapable. 

Also, if the death you are grieving has been during lockdown, you are likely to have faced restrictions. For example, you may not have been able to visit your loved one, or you may have encountered complications when arranging funerals. Again, the implications of living in lockdown can heighten painful feelings, including grief, anger, guilt, lack of hope and sadness.

3. Lockdown reduces options for support

Usually there is support available to us when we’re grieving, social connection and activities that give us comfort and times of respite away from our grief. A daily routine and structure might normally help contain some of the most intense feelings as well.

 

 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to grief, especially how you can manage it in these difficult times. If you’re looking for an outlet or in need of support, here are some things you can try. 

1. Express your feelings and draw on your support network

Connect with other people you can open up to when you’re feeling low and tell them about how you feel. People often worry they are a burden to others or want to protect them, but you may be surprised at how sharing your grief with others can help.

If you feel it’s hard to speak to friends and family, helplines and services are available and staffed by experienced and trained volunteers and professionals. Here are a few we recommend: Cruse Bereavement Care, Grief Chat, the Loss Foundation, the Good Grief Trust, and WAY (Widowed and Young

2. Be creative

Find creative ways to connect to the people around you and to the person who has died. If you love eating dinner with friends or family, schedule a video call for a mealtimes. If you find it difficult to talk, then journaling can be helpful outlet for your emotions. If you feel able, write a letter to the person who died telling them how you feel and what they meant to you. You can also use mindfulness colouring books as a way to soothe and calm yourself.

3. Memory activities

Here’s a list of activities you can do independently, with a friend, partner or children to commemorate your memories.

  • If you can’t get to the cemetery, find a place in your home where you can light a candle, have a photo and remember the person who died.
  • Make a photo album or put together a scrapbook of your favourite memories.
  • Start a memory jar where you jot down memories as they come to you. You could invite friends and family to share favourite memories too and create a special place for them.
  • Make a playlist of favourite music.
  • Make a memory box and include precious items you treasure from the person who died.

4. Find ways of giving yourself a short break from your grieving

As much as that’s possible, do things that give you comfort. This can be anything from calling friends to listening to music, from exercise to watching TV.

5. Looking after yourself

Have some kind of routine and structure to your day. If your appetite has been affected, make sure you eat regularly. If you’re finding your sleep is disturbed, find a way to relax before bedtime. If you can do some regular exercise either at home or outside, remember to stay hydrated.

Things to remember

Learning to cope with grief is an experience as unique as you are. There is no right or wrong way to manage it, but it is important to recognise how you feel and do things that will help you. Remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself and to reach out for support when you need it.

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