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Giving Support Grief/Dispair

Widower: Self-Isolation – What Now With COVID-19?

If you are a recent widower, this blog is for you!

Widowers often are advised to avoid self-isolation. It is harmful to our physical and mental health. Fear, anger, doubt, and depression can run rampant. Destructive behaviors, such as alcoholism and drug use, are common. This can lead to alienation from our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. 

We are told to get out, try new activities, meet new people, and reach out to those who still love us and are in our life. All of this is critical to eventual healing.

But now we are being forced to isolate-in-place due to COVID–19. So, how the hell are we supposed to heal now?

Just when we are most vulnerable, just when we need human contact the most, and just when everything in our body and mind is screaming at us to hunker down and hide from everyone… then we have this COVID-19 crisis come along and force us to self-isolate.

Many of our friends, family, and acquaintances are unlikely to reach out to us, as they are often afraid that they are imposing on us and our grief… or afraid they will say the wrong thing. So, I am going to tell you something you might think is counter-intuitive:

IT IS UP TO YOU TO REACH OUT TO THEM, NOW MORE THAN EVER!

Because now you may not be able to:

  • have dinner with your family, 
  • go out for a beer with your friends, 
  • attend church,
  • go to work, 
  • eat out at a restaurant, or
  • participate in group hikes, dances, ball games, or other activities.

Here are a few options to help keep you engaged with others: 

  • call (video call if possible) at least one person each day and have a real conversation,
  • text and email friends and family daily,
  • communicate with others through Facebook,
  • exchange ideas on how you are dealing with the crisis,
  • view humorous or inspiring Facebook posts dealing with our situation, such as Laura Clery  
  • join online video groups now being offered through Meetup

Also, consider some activities to help you through this:

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise – and eat right
  • Meditation – you have time to try one of many free ones on Youtube
  • Reduce Stress – read or listen to people like Eckhart Tolle 
  • Change your routine – mix it up
  • Keep the television or music on to fill the void
  • Find a home project that keeps you occupied and feels good to finish (write a book)
  • Plan one positive thing for the future, such as a road trip to visit family or old friends, that gives you something amazing to look forward to.

You might also identify some people in your neighborhood who need help, such as picking up groceries for them. Take a walk in your area and pick up trash. Go pull some weeds, which can be a very therapeutic project. 

In other words, find new ways to maintain your contact with others and to be active. DO NOT use this pandemic as an excuse to take your isolation to a new level! Reach out to others; don’t wait for them to reach out to you. 

P.S. Please take a moment and share your ideas on how to un-isolate while in isolation!

© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby

All rights reserved


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Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon. Buy Widower to Widower through Amazon. (If living in Canada go to Widower to Widower – Amazon-Canada) See Testimonies and Reviews of Widower to Widower. Website: Fred Colby, Author

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