It is perfectly okay to admit you’re not okay.

Grief looks different on everyone. We often think of grief as being associated with the loss of a loved one, a close friend, family member, or even a cherished pet. Did you know that grief can also come from the loss of normalcy?

We are still feeling the effects of the pandemic and the strain it has caused on our society. The loss of our normalcy and the sadness that accompanies it is beginning to return to some degree, but learning to deal with a new normal, missing the way things used to be is grief. It is ok to grieve the loss of our sense of normal. It is ok to grieve the loss of our holiday traditions. It is ok to grieve the loss of our sense of community and sense of family, which we may be still struggling to rebuild.

People grieve in their own ways. One thing is certain. We must take the time to grieve. It is ok to sit with these feelings of sadness but is important we do not allow ourselves to become lost in those feelings. The best way to prevent being lost in those feelings, is to focus on what you can control. 

Here are some ideas to take control of your grief: 

  1. Start a new tradition. There is no time like the present to look at your loved ones, your abilities, and assign new traditions to this time of year.
  2. Talk with others about your feelings. If your family or friends are going to miss out on a tradition this year, you’re likely not the only one grieving. Knowing others are sharing your feelings can be comforting. 
  3. Write out your gratitude. It is easy to focus on the negative when you are feeling sad. Take time to assess what you have in your life and for what you are grateful. It could be something small and simple or something big and unexpected that happened this year, which turned out to be a positive. 

You are not alone in your grief. Reach out to those around you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call or text 988

TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline
800-959-TAPS (8277)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline
1-800-662-HELP (4357)

About The Author: 
Brianne Sampson, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, HOPE’s Director of Clinical Support Services graduated with a Master of Social Work from the East Carolina University and joined our HOPE family 2014. Brianne is the spouse of an active duty Marine currently stationed in Quantico, VA and is a mother of two.