On Tuesday, May 26 at 12 noon I’ll be presenting a webinar the #1 tool for success in parenting in a pandemic. (Register here for this free one-hour webinar). This webinar will help parents help their children.
But what about parents themselves?
Being at home under quarantine or isolation with young children (or children of any age, frankly) can be exhausting. As parents and caregivers, we have lost much of our social support, like get-togethers with friends and family, the camaraderie of our workplace/volunteering, or going out to events, the gym, or the movies. These are all significant losses.
Losses bring on grief.
The losses we have experienced during the pandemic can bring on a ‘grief’ response. We usually think of grief as arising from the death of someone close to us, but in fact grief can arise from many different kinds of losses. Common reactions to the emotion of grief are sadness, anger, disbelief, and denial.
How can I help myself when I am feeling grief and loss?
Self-care recommendations are many varied—take a walk, a bubble bath, listen to music, paint, etc. These are all helpful, but the #1 self-help tool that I find helpful when I’m experiencing loss and grief is feeling my feelings. This is a less attractive option than a bubble bath because feeling my feelings is difficult and unpleasant. However, it is the best way that I’ve found to reduce the intensity of the feelings of grief and loss.
How do I feel my feelings?
- I close my eyes.
- I sense into my body and notice the sensations I’m feeling.
- I take my mind’s eye into my body to the place of the sensations.
- I go into the sensations and, if I can, I amp them up and make them even more intense
- I stay in this place for 30 seconds, feeling the sensations
How does this awful exercise help?
At the end of 30 seconds, I notice less intensity to the feelings of grief and loss and I am more able to carry on with my day.
Don’t give up—you’ll be glad you did it!
You will be tempted to stop during this exercise, or your mind may wander because it is challenging and unpleasant to experience these feelings. But if you can hang on for 30 seconds, and keep bringing yourself back to the unpleasant feelings for the 30 seconds, you will be rewarded with more calm, peace, and optimism.
Our registered clinical counsellor Lucinda Flavelle specializes in parent consulting and coaching, individual psychotherapy, and couples counselling. As a result of therapy, you will find yourself relieved of the burdens you were carrying, confident in your new way of being, and with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose about your life. Read more about Lucinda and book your appointment here.