What can you do to support yourself during this Coronavirus crisis

What can you do to support yourself during this Coronavirus crisis

It is important to look after yourself. Grief can be very tiring, but there are things you can do to help you feel less overwhelmed.

Stay in contact with family and friends via the telephone and social media. Talk to people about the person who has died and, where able, share memories and feelings. It can feel excruciatingly hard to hear and witness other people’s sadness and grief, particularly if you are not with them in person. However, a comforting, listening presence can still be possible and very much needed even when we are at a distance.

Try to establish a regular routine and plan your days in segments of time.

Try to pace yourself and avoid filling every moment of your day with tasks around the home or with your work. Grieving is exhausting and it is important that you allow yourself time to rest, time to be in contact with others and time to be in touch with the pain of your grief.

Try to eat regular meals, even if you have lost your appetite. Check your store cupboards to ensure that you have got basic provisions and if you fall within a vulnerable group, perhaps explore whether there are local community groups or catering companies supplying delivery of pre-made convenience foods that are simple and easy to prepare.

Where possible, take some gentle exercise. This may be difficult during coronavirus lockdown but try to ensure that you are moving regularly around the home, going up and downstairs, out into the garden if you have one or undertaking simple basic exercises from your chair. Remember, movement can help to reduce the stress in our bodies and give us a sense of empowerment.

Try to avoid alcohol, drugs or being excessively busy as this is seldom helpful.

Be prepared for a multitude of mixed feelings and responses that might feel as if they come and go in waves. There will be days when you may feel stronger than others and days when it may feel hard simply to get up from your bed. Try not to be too hard on yourself. If you find that you cannot meet the goals that you have set for yourself on a particular day, just think that you can try again tomorrow or at some other time when it might feel more possible to achieve.

Accept offers of help and support from other people. Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself

Days and nights following a bereavement and now during a period of lockdown can feel very long and lonely. Consider activities that might help you to pass the time, such as keeping a journal, blogging, drawing, painting or some other craft activity which might hold your interest for a short while. Again, don’t be surprised if you find your concentration and motivation for such things is low at the moment. Just do what you can, if you can and when you can.

Allow yourself time to grieve. You shouldn’t feel you have to rush ‘to get over it’ or to be strong for other people’s sake.

Don’t look too far ahead. Where possible put off making big decisions if you can and take one day at a time.

If you find yourself having particularly dark days and thoughts remember you are not alone.

Pick up that phone to family or friends or ring the bereavement team at Prospect Hospice 01793 816127 or Cruse Bereavement National Help Line 0808 808 1677

Outside of normal working hours the SAMARITANS can be contacted on 116 123.