In one way or another, our lives have changed over the last month. Lately, I have been speaking to many who have had to alter their plans, deadlines and expectations for life events. There is also a sense of loss for many. That may be the loss of a loved one who has passed due to COVID19, the loss of a job, or the loss of business income you have worked hard for. For many, it may be a more unique experience of grief, a loss of an expected life milestone or opportunity as a result of our changing world. Expecting parents have had to alter their birth plans. Students have had to change their summer plans. Engaged couples have had to move their wedding dates, previously awaited surgeries have been postponed, and convocating students at all levels will not have the graduation ceremony they have waited years for. Even those who have not lost anything tangible are still adapting to the immense loss of day to day freedoms. Whether your loss is big or small, that loss may feel very real to you and that can feel deeply saddening and frustrating.
In these moments, it can feel like we have lost all sense of control in our lives and our life plans. It is true that we do not have control over COVID19, nor how long it lasts and disrupts our lives, but focussing on one’s lack of control can be unsettling. What is most helpful is to pick apart the smaller components of these large circumstances and life plans in order to seek the elements where we do have some control. Recognizing the small elements of control that we do have, and accepting the components that we do not have control over, can help us feel grounded during these turbulent times. It is also important that we recognize our losses and the losses of those around us without comparison so that we all feel validated in our personal experience. It is natural to take all of these new timelines and start to worry about how to plan accordingly for these next steps. Plan for the future, but know that your plans will change. Essentially, have a plan but hold it lightly. When these new plans feel frustrating to accept, try and see if there is an alternative way to perceive this new situation by reframing it in a more positive way.
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Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.