We often rely on going out with our friends to clear our head or distract ourselves from feelings of grief. That’s completely natural, and paired with other ways of processing pain, it helps us embrace our grief and move on.
However, social distancing and quarantine measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus have hindered all social activities, including going out. That being said, there are other, effective ways to process grief that you can still do while practicing social distancing.
Being unable to go out doesn’t mean being unable to see your loved ones. In fact, you ought to remain in touch. There are many different apps that allow you to simultaneously videocall many friends. If that’s not enough, you could also play online games to make the calls more entertaining.
Physical interactions definitely have their benefits. A hug can go a long way in dulling one’s stresses and anxieties. While online interactions can’t offer physical comfort, they do provide other kinds of comfort. Playing videogames with friends, for example, can be a much funnier and more memorable experience than playing alone.
Some people do not necessarily find comfort in company; they prefer to be alone with their thoughts. In this case, people could benefit from doing individual activities. Experiencing some form of art can be cathartic and allows one to temporarily escape their grief. This includes reading a book, playing a videogame, watching a film, and more.
Writing helps clear out the cluttered ideas and emotions in one’s head by putting them onto paper. This helps people make sense of what they’re feeling. Exercise releases endorphins, which help improve a person’s mood. Lastly, giving some time to think and reflect on grief helps people understand and come to terms with said grief.
There are things that friends can’t do. Perhaps you’ve never been vulnerable in front of them, and feel awkward showing this side of yourself. Hanging out with friends may not be enough to take your mind off of your grief. Talking may not be an effective way for some people to let out their emotions.
There are also things you can’t do. Reflecting on your grief is just as likely to worsen your grief as it is to improve it. Exercise and art may remedy your grief, but they’re just as likely to let you temporarily escape your grief without fixing it.
If nothing seems to be working, it may be time to reach out to a professional for help. You’re not alone in this. Quarantine has exacerbated everyone’s grief, depression, anxiety, and other mental burdens. A psychologist may be able to help you navigate these uncertain and trying times. If you’re in Alabama, get in touch with Dr. David Myers. He’s a skilled therapist and can help ease your mind.