Grief can be a natural response to what’s happening in our world right now.
There’s a shift and a sense of loss for the ways things were.
We’re preparing for how things may have to be.
Life as we know it looks very different as we “social distance” ourselves and many of our expectations and way of life have had to rapidly change. What we never imagined having to worry about is affecting us. The novelty is beginning to transform.
This is new and this is hard.
The thing is, our new norm can look both similar and different from our coworker who is also running a school for their kids at home, our friend who works as a nurse in a hospital, or our next-door neighbor who is elderly and also a widow.
Some might have had to re-think what walking down the aisle looks like, someone you know may soon be delivering a new life into the world, and many have to face the heartbreak of not walking across the stage for their well-earned diploma. What grief are you facing? What should you do about it?
Tending to your needs.
Give yourself time to make space for what is difficult. You can do this by setting a timer to journal, lighting a candle to pray at night, or taking a walk to have a space big enough to hold what you are going through. It is important to find a way to both open and close the space and time you are in to create a container for your grief – so it doesn’t flood into the rest of your day and become debilitating.
Creating hope – not despair
While social distancing has limited our ability to physically be present with one another, it has not taken away our ability to connect.
What I can’t help but notice is that our spirit as a community has not been extinguished – on the contrary – it has inspired us to create.
As I write this the Easter Bunny will be coming down my street in a fire truck today, after three hours of going down every neighborhood in my town. While it feels a little cheesy, I also notice a sense of excitement for my daughter to be able to squeal with joy and clap her hands at the sight.
I pray that hope – not despair – may fill your lives during these times as we see and respond to each other’s loss and needs. Together, we will see this through.
Jessica Block, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate
We’re told time after time how this time of year is the “most wonderful time of year”. But for some, it’s not.
For those who are grieving, the holidays can strike up a different tune. Many people have hard times remembering holidays past and, perhaps, better times.
But grief isn’t just about loss. People can grieve for many different reasons which can trigger a downward spiral into isolation and loneliness. It’s the loneliness that can cause people to feel inadequate, and struggle with feelings like worthlessness.
Loneliness doesn’t just attack when you are by yourself. You can be surrounded by a room full of people and still feel empty. As it turns out, loneliness can actually impact your physical health, too. It can increase inflammation, heart disease- even high blood pressure.
People who are lonely are at risk because they struggle to receive love and support. The good news is, finding a sense of community and connection can really help combat loneliness this holiday season.
If you’re feeling lonely in the Raleigh, NC area this holiday season, there are plenty of ways to connect and build a community of support. Here are a few ideas…
How To Combat Loneliness in Raleigh, NC
Add Some Light To Your Life
Go see one of the most spectacular Christmas light displays in the Triangle is in Wake Forest. Piper Lights is the project of a family who really loves Christmas. They’re at 5725 Fixit Shop Road, Wake Forest. The display includes 7 acres of lights that will leave you feeling bright and merry.
Grab A Quiet Coffee
The Morning Times Coffee Shop & Gallery is the perfect place to get the morning off on the right foot. If you’re feeling lonely, treat yourself to a cup of coffee and stay awhile to enjoy the friendly and comfortable atmosphere it has to offer.
Support Local Community
Visit City Market, 215 Wolfe Street, Raleigh, for a wonderful holiday shopping experience! The City Market features a unique collection of art, restaurants, and retail in downtown Raleigh so you can support local and have fun scratching items off of your gift list!