Where were you when you got the news?

It’s hard to believe it’s been two months since I was in Florida tending to my horse, Gwen, when I heard about the pandemic and pending travel restriction. I couldn’t stay in the USA. I had to move fast. First, I had to arrange for my horse to be transported north to Canada before the borders closed. Then I had to choose what direction I would go. North with my horse or south to my home on the Cayman Islands.

After frantic confusion and teary emotions, I separated from Gwen and I boarded one of the last flights to Grand Cayman. In time, we both arrived safely in the places we belong. Shortly after the Grand Cayman international airport was closed and cut us off from the rest of the world.

Life as we know it got cancelled

Now all of our freedom is restricted and we can’t even make plans for the future. Our calendar looks like a game of tic-tac-toe gone wrong, with even more cancellations happening as time moves on. Our normal lives are not so normal any more.

Adapting to a new normal

Everything changed so fast there was no time to process what was happening. The first few days were like a weird dream. It was novel and exciting. I got busy organizing and adjusting to having my husband work from home. Then the reality of being away from our friends and family started to sink in. I was not alone. Across the globe everyone was experiencing the same thing. That overwhelming truth provided a grim comfort that connects us. Though everyone is adapting differently to this crisis and daily interruption.

It’s shocking to be forced into video visits, working from home, home schooling and grocery delivery. Adopting acceptable physical distance outside our home can be nerve-racking and create social discomfort. This is our new normal.

Reality starts to sink in

As the days and weeks unfold a new kaleidoscope of emotions reveal themselves. I started to feel restless and tired, motivated and lazy, angry and afraid. I felt a lot of pressure to do something … anything! Yet I was losing my focus and sense of purpose. I had this gift of time but didn’t know what to do with myself.

How to deal with the loss

Think about it. We have all lost something – a job, a routine, a physical connect, daily activities, future planning … not to mention our freedom. When you lose something that important, you need to grieve. It’s important to recognize and validate the emotions that come with grieving. Easily remembered by the acronym, DABDA, the stages of grief are; Denial and isolation, Anger, Bargaining or Blame, Depression and Acceptance. Click here to read a good article explaining how these life changes can trigger grief.

Recovering your personal strength

Grief affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. At times like this, it’s important to stay connected to your physical body and emotions, while engaging with the physical world around you, regardless how small it might have become.

Though you may feel that you have lost control of our outer world, you still have the power to shape your reaction to this crisis. As you navigate your way through this new reality, I want to share some empowering tools to help you deal with each new day.

Remember I’m here for you if you need some one-on-one support. Just email me and we can schedule a time to chat.