Welcome back! It means a lot that you take your time to be here, especially right now when we're all juggling new responsibilities on top of our old routines.

We started talking last time about feelings of loss, and I invited you to write down some of the feelings of loss you've been noticing recently, and what's been helping you, or what's been holding you back. I want to stress the fact that a loss is a loss, and what you're feeling today is not less of a loss compared to others; it's your experience of loss.

I'd like to take time now to talk about some strategies for dealing with feelings of loss, particularly during such challenging times when we're feeling more isolated than we may have before. Here are a couple of suggestions for you to consider.

Get it out. Talk to someone about it; write about it. Say it out loud if you're not a journaler. However you do it best, get it out. Putting it out there helps get rid of the negative charge and the weight of the loss. Expressing your thoughts and feelings creates a distance between you and the pain. So you can see it more clearly. So that it has less of a hold on you. It lets you manage it rather than the other way around.

Get into action. This will require creativity and observation on your part, but it's worth the effort. Based on how you are feeling, consider what might help at this moment. Pay attention to your body. Do you feel frustrated or angry? Maybe a walk or some exercise will help. Do you need to box it out, swear it out, or cry it out?

A note on Crying and Loss – As a culture, we have some misguided beliefs about crying which limit us. If you view shedding tears as a sign of weakness or that it means you're not handling something well, I challenge that. I know there are times to buck up and push back tears: it's an inappropriate time or place, or you're with people you're not comfortable being that vulnerable with. But if you notice that you keep fighting the urge, believing it's a sign of weakness or not coping well, please know that crying is a powerful way to grieve. It's the heart's genius at work, giving us a way to let go of pain.

If more of a sadness or empty feeling is where you are, think about what fills you up. A walk in Nature to surround yourself with beauty, cooking, planting a garden. Connect with what you still have. Call a friend. Do you need a good laugh? How can you create something? Even something small, like arranging some flowers or a note to someone special; the act of creation opposes the experience of loss.

Remind yourself that the way you feel is temporary because people who intentionally manage their losses are rewarded with a relief of the pain. That's why I am passionate about you doing the work now.
COVID-19 has given us all a gift. Here's how to open it. What have you missed most during social isolation? The answer guides you to what to put your energy into moving forward. See the gift? The clarity born of loss.

You didn't choose this pandemic that changed things, but you do get to choose how it changed things for you moving forward. Can you be open to listening for the wisdom it offers you? Can you trust that by paying attention -- to the losses, the feelings – all of it… and then choosing who you were in it -- that you will have triumphed. Knowing that the results of COVID-19 don't determine your well-being; how you respond does.

Dr. Lee Odescalchi

Author's Bio: 

Lee Odescalchi is a coach and licensed psychologist. She has coached and counseled clients, just like you, looking for more fulfilling lives. Her unique approach uses the most effective methods of personal development and performance strategies. She does this while addressing issues from the past that have led to self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of your success. Lee also empowers people to “get out of their own way” and maximize their strengths so they can produce extraordinary results… in any area of their life.