That’s a good question! You may have dealt with illness or the loss of a loved one, maybe loss of income. Even if you haven’t experienced deep loss, everyone has suffered loss on some level. On top of that, how we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic is still unknown. One thing is certain though, the new normal will be different. In the face of change and uncertainty, being resilient (or becoming more resilient) can ease worries and bring hope to challenging times.
Seeing movies with people in close contact or pictures of family gatherings reminds us of the way things were just a few short months ago. We are all mourning the loss of familiar routines like going to work, taking the kids to school, visiting friends and family, eating at a restaurant, and getting our hair cut!
It’s unsettling not to be free to move about the way we used to. The loss of income and the pandemic’s effect on the economy are major worries. We are concerned about loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes, and those across town or states away. Education has been disrupted, graduations are off, weddings postponed and other major (and minor) events cancelled indefinitely. There’s been so much change to our livelihood and sense of community.
Most people connect grief to the loss of a loved one, but smaller losses can cause grief too. Grief is a natural reaction to loss. It’s that feeling you get when something or someone is missing. It’s common to experience unexpected emotions like shock, anger, guilt and profound sadness. Grief can cause nausea or upset stomach, fast heartbeat, fatigue, headaches or other physical symptoms. Everyone grieves differently so the way you feel and how long it takes will be unique to you. For some, grief may be delayed, showing up out of the blue weeks or months later. It might be triggered by another type of loss or because the intensity of the pandemic has passed.
The process of grieving can affect your ability to sleep, eat and think straight. One way to help yourself emotionally is to take care of yourself physically while grieving. Seek out time to talk with trusted friends or family about your feelings and challenges, even if by phone, video or at a safe distance.
Resilience means believing you can cope in the face of major life stresses. Try to see difficulties as problems to sort through, rather than impossible obstacles. We can’t control the fact that change is a part of life and stressful events will continue to happen. It may be necessary to set new goals and accept a new normal. During challenging times, try to find the positive. Focus on the things you can change and give less energy to what you can’t.
With so many unknowable answers to questions about the future and circumstances beyond our control, it helps to focus on what we can control. Adapting to change and stressful situations are called resilience. If your resilience could stand a little dusting off, here are a few steps you can take to build strength for adjusting to the times:
During these unusual times, everyone’s gotten smarter about germs and how they are spread (see last month’s newsletter). To help you and your family stay safe, try to stick to these habits:
By focusing on what is within your control and taking care of yourself (and others), you are bound to feel more hopeful. As always, KnovaSolutions is available to lend a helping hand. Our clinicians can help you and your family members develop or fine tune resilience skills. Call (800) 355-0885, Monday to Friday, 8 am-8 pm, MT.
The information contained in this newsletter is for general, educational purposes. It should not be considered a replacement for consultation with your healthcare provider. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider.
KnovaSolutions is the clinical prevention service of HCMS Group. This service is available to Alliance Health Plan participants at no additional cost, helping manage complex healthcare situations by gaining a better understanding of their choices for medical care, treatment, and medication.