Heidi and I recently had an online get-together through Facebook Live with our friend, Alan Pedersen.  During our discussion, we talked about coping strategies for these uncertain times due to fear over the health and financial impact from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It’s normal to experience anxiety and stress right now. Even more so, those that have lost loved ones to illnesses can experience triggers from the current health concerns.

What We Can Do

While we can’t make things go back to the way they were, we have control over what we can do now, including adhering to all the current social distancing and quarantine guidelines. Also, it’s important that we stay calm, be kind to others, and do what we can to connect with those in our lives in new ways.

Here are some ideas we came up with during our video conversation:

  • Spend more time on FaceTime or a Zoom call with those you love.
  • Take an online class like a yoga class to maintain some of your daily habits.
  • Don’t let distance stop you from celebrating or commemorating events. As a family, we remember the loss of my son many years ago every April 2nd. This year is no different. We will do a virtual remembrance ceremony and candle lighting with our family through a Zoom video conference.
  • Meet with a therapist through an online session to get the help you may need.
  • Explore your creative side through music, art, and/or writing. Make a TikTok video, create a new recipe and rediscover cooking, or express yourself through painting. Feel free to also write an article for us at Open to Hope about your own experiences with grief and the recent events.
  • Use humor and enjoy other’s humor. Alan recently ordered a pizza with pepperoni and Purel. It made the pizza company order taker laugh and that helped them and him in that moment.

Things to Remember

Throughout all of this, it’s important to think about the positives, including the opportunity in everything no matter what the situation. In this case, we can use the time and space we have to slow down, think carefully, and feel more. We are so accustomed to rigorous schedules and moving all the time without this much free time that it can feel strange at first. This is now the time to take advantage of what we have and do things that make us feel productive and that we are contributing.

Find ways to help each other rather than get caught up in the panic buying and fear. That may mean minimizing how much news you watch so you don’t focus on the worst of what’s going on right now. We are resilient and each of us is stronger than we may realize to get through this. We can get through it together by connecting and helping each other.

Watch Now

Watch the Facebook Live video here. Besides all the helpful advice we’ve put together, you’ll also get to enjoy Alan’s creativity as a songwriter as he serenades us with an inspiring song he wrote.

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Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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