The last year and accompanying coronavirus pandemic, has been extremely difficult for many for reasons that vary from one personal situation to the next. Safety restrictions put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 have also varied from place to place and country to country, meaning that globally, we all were not dealing with the same restrictions at the same time but yet many experiences are still shared universally.
One of which, is not seeing loved ones, many people across the world are still unable to see their relatives or friends and the process of missing someone can be quite difficult to navigate.
If you are currently struggling with being apart from a loved one, or perhaps preparing again not to see someone close to your heart for a long time, here are some ways to help you cope.
Care for yourself
It is natural to mourn for someone when they leave however temporary, and this can sometimes lead to self-neglect. Make time to care for yourself, whether that is getting a good night’s sleep, eating nourishing foods and exercising, talking to others or spending your time on fulfilling activities – from relaxing with a good book to attending to any personal projects or errands. You may also try to combat the loneliness of missing a person by spending time with other cherished friends or loved ones – whether this is in person or over a video/phone call.
It is also important to take some time to acknowledge and ‘sit-with’ how you feel, rather than avoiding any negative emotions. Accept and explore your emotions and care for your wellbeing mentally. Healthline advises:
‘…research from 2010Trusted Source suggests that accepting negative emotions may help relieve the distress they can cause. Avoiding them, on the other hand, could contribute to worsened mental health symptoms, including depression. Of course, you probably don’t want to let your distress take over your day. Instead, find some quiet time where you can investigate your feelings:
- Accept whatever emotions — love, regret, anger — come up without judgment.
- Explore your emotions to better understand where they come from.
- Encourage yourself with positive self-talk. “This is hard, but it will get better” may have a more positive impact than “They left. Get over it already.”’
A great way to deal with many emotional situations is to ride it out by immersing yourself in something that you enjoy. Although work can be a good distraction, it is not always a positive experience, so try to eek out some time with activities that you enjoy. This can be anything from learning a new skill, embarking on a new project, taking up a new hobby or simply immersing yourself in some of your favorite pastimes. Spending time by yourself does not need to be a lonesome experience, instead look at it as time to fill doing things for yourself and your own fulfilment. Projects can be anything from home improvement tasks, to arts and crafts, to sport or outdoor activities, to learning an instrument to volunteering.
If you do choose to spend your time with a new task, or perhaps a long put off task, also spend time relaxing as well, watching TV, reading a book, listening to music. Anything to help cheer you up and nourish your soul.
Just miss them
If you are missing your romantic partner, you may feel that you need to be in contact with them constantly to make up for the distance. You may also begin to feel jealous and left out if they are having fun without you. This is all pretty normal. However, you don’t need to be in contact constantly – sometimes it can feel smothering if you are. Instead cherish the times that you do call, text or catch up. Don’t overly worry about ‘keeping in touch’, sure, communicate with each other regularly, but try to relax and allow the times that you do communicate to be natural rather than forced, it will likely make you both feel happier. Also, be open, honest and clear communicators with each other.
As for feeling ‘left-out’ – this is also very normal, but understand that this does not mean that the other person is not missing you too, but making the best of it as well. Try to see your separation as an opportunity to get back in touch with yourself and do things that you would not necessarily do with them. Finally, just miss them, it’s okay to miss someone and experience those feelings. Write notes, schedule video chats and do whatever you need to get through.