I am thinking about ‘loss’ in its broadest terms, especially in a pandemic. Without judging the relative impacts on anyone, the most common image when thinking about a loss is the passing of a loved one.
I also include in the idea of loss, the loss of social options, the loss of freedom to think about worry-free topics most of the time, a loss of expected good health, a loss of control, a loss of regular rituals and traditions with others, and so on.
Personally, I’ve had an easier time than many, but I’ve still had things to cope with. Here are some thoughts that might help.
First, I try to be compassionate to myself. If I’m not in good shape mentally, it is that much harder to help others. This is probably one of the hardest things for me to do. It is not a natural act. I have to be conscious and aware of this mental feat. I think of it as constantly practicing to get better. I’m now successful more often than not, thank goodness.
Second, I try to move my body. A while back, I was in my recliner, relaxing, and I was scared. It was as if a blanket of depression just quickly settled all around me. After 30 minutes, I was immobile. I didn’t move for hours. I wasn’t paralyzed, but I didn’t want to move. Terrifying.
Fortunately, my brain was still functioning but not nearly up to my usual standard. I knew this situation would not end well if I didn’t do something – doing nothing would not work.
I knew enough that movement – I wouldn’t call it even exercise, was a help to get whatever chemicals my body needed to ward off this eerie stillness.
I started to move parts of my body. Nothing too challenging; toes, fingers, eyes, foot, leg. Gradually I had moved most of my movable parts at least once.
I rolled over. I sat up.
My thinking was returning. I realized that I had spent most of my time indoors, yet I enjoyed going for walks and the many health aspects that provided. I needed to get back to walking outdoors and not to let weather, ice, wind, and TV steer me from accomplishing a significant increase in walking time.
I am fortunate that I could afford the fee to walk the indoor track at the local recreation centre. It was well worth a try and far cheaper than other forms of therapy. I would indulge myself the car ride to avoid the mental barrier of walking the 20 minutes to the track. Now, the weather was a non-issue.
The good news is that it worked very well, and I recovered quickly and emerging as a much humbler person and wiser.
This is my personal story. Take what is useful and leave the rest. Everyone is unique, and I don’t want to minimize anyone’s struggles. Head-work is always challenging.
Please give this a bit of a think. Identify a loss you’ve suffered this past year. What is the nature of the loss? What can you create to fill the void, recognizing it doesn’t erase the loss? It might give you a way to live with the loss
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment.
If you enjoyed The Blog, please share it with others. Thanks.
And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.