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Yes, change is hard for most, if not all, of us. Unfortunately, we are dealing with overwhelming amounts of change nowadays. Here are some suggestions:
--Lower your expectations for yourself. You will struggle with change. Just feel good about dealing with it the best you can, even if things still feel chaotic.
--As therapists always say, if you can't change the situation, then change your reaction to the situation. Part of that may be (as stated above) accepting the changes rather than fighting them. Just trust your abilities to adapt.
--Keep as much routine as you can to keep at least the semblance of some control. Wake up and go to sleep at the same times every day. If you are working, then get dressed in work-like clothes rather than hanging around in your bathrobe. Bring as much order and predictability to your life as possible.
You have adapted to other changes in your life, even if you didn't really like it. You will adapt again now. Give yourself credit for all you've dealt with thus far. Take care, Barry
A lot of people have the same concerns that you do. There's no easy way to navigate the reopening of our communities. Stay up-to-date on the latest information from reliable sources about what to do. Wear a mask, carry hand sanitizer and try to keep your distance from others. When you return home, wash up. Try to remember that you can only do your best in these unprecedented, difficult circumstances. When you do return home, take a few minutes to do some calming deep breathing and acknowledge that you are okay in that moment. We're all in the same boat. I hope that we can all find compassion for ourselves and others as we face more changes ahead.
Wishing you the best,
I've been really feeling anxious about my state opening up too soon. I'm no where near ready to venture out but know I will have to sooner than later. How can I begin to navigate the reopening of my community in a way that feels safe to me and my family? How can we begin to ease back into going out in public without feeling so terrified?
As I don’t live in your area, my suggestion is that your friend look at the Psychology Today website for therapists in your area who may be available to be of help. Some offer sliding-scale fees. Many are now doing remote psychotherapy over video platforms or by telephone. There may also be on-line support groups that he can join that address his particular struggles. With social media growing daily, it’s worthwhile to look around to see if there are Facebook groups, community-based support groups, groups offered by religious institutions in your area - even if they are all using on-line platforms to meet for now.
It’s often true that clinics can have waiting lists. He might contact Metrocare again to see if a therapist has an unexpected opening and to reassert his need to meet with someone. At least the medications are a good start. I hope your friend finds some support. Best of luck to you both.
I’m so sorry for your losses. You’ve had so many in such a short time. It isn’t easy to grieve in the best circumstances, but it is especially challenging now. What we most want and need is the support and love of others. But for many of us, that must be at a distance, which just adds to the grief.
Although you can’t get real hugs, it is crucial that you share your memories and feelings about the friends you have lost. If there are video-based funerals or memorial services, join in and share with the group. Despite their not being in person, these events can be powerful and meaningful.
Develop your own personal grief rituals for those you’ve lost. Sit with a photo and remember good times together. Light a candle and think of your friends. Take a mindful walk in which you purposefully reflect on those you’ve lost. Talk to mutual friends who share your grief.
Do your best to stay in the moment and appreciate what you do have. We cannot predict the future, but we can find peace in the present.
Hi OhioSpeedMonkey @ohiospeedmonkey
You are certainly having a tough time of it. Your life had already reached a turning-point before the virus came along. It will take time for you to step-by-step create a new life for yourself. That will take 1-2 years, more than likely. That is the average time for people to adjust after a divorce even without a pandemic.
To begin to create a new life for yourself, several things have to happen:
--If you haven't already done so, then seek treatment for depression. Your primary care provider can help you with this. Being depressed makes it much less likely that you will recover from divorce or cope well with the pandemic. If you can't change these situations, then you have to change your reaction to them. Depression treatment can help a lot.
--Returning to work may be a good idea for bringing in some money and getting you out of the house but can only be done so safely if your employer gives you a mask, gloves and anything else you need to be and feel safe. Have that conversation with you employer.
--Try not to isolate yourself. I know we are all supposed to physically isolate ourselves during this time, but staying in touch with others by phone or videoconferencing can make a great deal of difference. People who are depressed often don't want to see others. Please do it anyway. Pulling away from others will only increase your depression. Reconnecting with them might begin to lighten your mood.
All this is easier said than done. It may feel like there's no hope but there is. The pandemic will end. The majority of people recover from divorce. Hang in there.--Barry
If there is one thing we are all dealing with right now - it's change! Our lives are so different from a few months ago that many of us are struggling to adjust. Food shopping feels treacherous. Taking a walk can be frightening. Even in the best of circumstances, change can be difficult to integrate. But we're living in scary times, so adjusting to the changes we have to make is especially difficult. Try to be patient with yourself, and forgiving about how hard this is. Allow yourself to feel whatever grief or fear comes up. If you always try to contain it, you'll feel even more anxiety. Try to take your time, making room for new routines and remembering new protocols a little at a time. Talk to your friends and loved ones about your feelings. We are pretty adaptive creatures. Try to feel confident that you will adjust to the vast array of changes in your life, and you may even help others to do so too.
Hi V. Wang @vwang3414
It is hard enough to manage a mental disturbance. But when the whole country is stressed out because of the pandemic, coping with mental symptoms becomes much harder. I suggest the following:
--Keep up with whatever emotional wellness regimen you have already been using. That could be meditation, yoga and taking walks or seeing your therapist and taking your medications. You need that regimen and routine more now than ever.
--Seek the support of others. We all need someone to have our back--especially through hard times when we aren't feeling well.
--Don't be hard on yourself. It is normal and expectable that your mental disturbance would be worse under the current conditions. That's not your fault. You just have to take responsibility for taking steps to get yourself back on track.
I'm sure this isn't easy. I wish you much luck. Things will get better. You will get better, too. Take care, Barry
Hi Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Mayer,
We are all experiencing major life changes right now. Personally, I probably have it better than others but I still have a significantly disrupted routine, I'm worried about my parents or other loved ones getting sick, and concerned about job security. I feel like I've been thrust into a new normal that I don't really want... even though I'm trying to make the best of it.
I find change very hard. Even positive changes can be really emotional for me. Do you have any suggestions for how I can feel less overwhelmed by all these changes?
Looking forward to your advice!