Grieving Our Way of Life

As the world faces this pandemic crisis, nearly everyone is feeling the stress. What we know for sure is that our world is changing at a rapid pace. The reality is, we will never be able to go back to life as we knew it. A permanent change in all areas of life is unavoidable.

Most do not accept change very well. Many have metathesiophobia, the actual word meaning, “fear of change.” Routine and structure provide a feeling of safety. We are more relaxed when we know what to expect. Fear of change can cause feelings of overwhelming anxiety and panic. Compounding this stress is mounting concerns for loved ones. The most common word I hear to describe today’s world is “surreal.” Our world is surreal.

We’re beginning to grieve a loss — the loss of our way of life. We have lost so much freedom in such a short period. Little freedoms such as going to the store for ice cream on a whim to big freedoms such as be allowed to go to work. Deep within all of us, we know that life will never be the same because of this crisis.

While we navigate these radically changing times, it’s important to remember the seven stages of grief; shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, reconciliation, and then, finally, acceptance. Social media is a clear indicator that many are in shock while others are in denial. Beyond that, there is plenty of anger, sorrow, confusion, and worry. However, it’s critically important that we do our best to stay calm. We must have compassion for our fellow humans and the world as a whole. The ability to navigate difficult conversations will also be necessary.

As I continue working with clients remotely from my home office, I am witnessing the world shifting very quickly, and some ways are extraordinarily positive. I see advances in science and technology happening every single day. This crisis, like so many others our world has faced, is propelling us forward at an astonishing speed. While lockdowns and quarantines continue to be enforced across the globe and traffic from cars to airplanes is halted, Space.com is recording measurable decreases in pollution from space. I read another article about the canals in Venice. Now empty of its usual traffic, the water is clearing, and wildlife is returning.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology released an article sharing the news of a new blood test to determine the presence of coronavirus antibodies. This is a considerable step in gauging the severity of the pandemic and treating patients that have been exposed.

During a session with a client in the Middle East earlier this week, she told me she was learning something utterly foreign to her culture – homeschooling. While, at the very same time, within our country, tech people rush to build online platforms for students without them. Our worldwide interconnectivity via the Internet is being used as a tool to connect quarantined individuals and to share information. The Vatican is urging Christians to unite and pray while other spiritual organizations are finding ways to help those in need with online classes and support groups. History tells us that humanity is incredibly resilient. My clients prove this every day. We will overcome this as we have overcome many other unimaginable catastrophes. Keep the faith.

If you are concerned about your immune system and are looking for tips to boost your immunity, read my latest blog, “How to Boost Your Immune System During a Pandemic.” I’d love to hear your comments and feedback on my newly launched website as well.