By: Dr. Sierra
Grief is the theme of a pandemic, an unexpected and global trauma. This has impacted people personally, sometimes directly affected or indirectly affected. Either way, it is clear, that taking care of our mental health is more important than ever. Feelings of grief range from shock, anger, depression about the current situation. Some have felt personal losses and tremendous impotence over the restrictions placed on hospitalized COVID19 patients. It is unreal, not normal, and tremendously painful.
The stages of grief are not linear and one day you might feel in denial and then you might feel anger over the loss of the old normal. These are some tips you can try to cope with grief of being in isolation.
- Honor your feelings: it is ok not to be ok during these times. Honor your feelings, learn to identify them, and express them with yourself and those around you. Journal and come up with activities that make you feel better.
- Be kind to others: those around you are also feeling grief and some might be fighting secret wars, emotionally. Others have a right to cope the best they can, if you need support from a family member or a friend, ask for it. The way we relate has changed, so your most supportive friend before might be struggling.
- Be in touch with your values: take some time to process your values and beliefs prior to the pandemic and get in touch with how you felt before. Bring that energy to the here-and-now, do not lose track of yourself.
- Plan when you are ready: we lost structure so fast during lockdown that we need to slowly bring that back to our daily routines. Planning for your future goals and dreams is what keeps up hopeful, take some time to do that. It is not simple to do that while in isolation, so be kind to yourself, take your time.
- Seek counseling: if you have trouble sleeping, feeling strong sadness, and disconnected from others, try psychotherapy. Learning some tools to manage stress and distress can go a long way. Losses bring up previous losses, thus processing that with a professional can certainly benefit your wellbeing.
Make sure you consult with a licensed mental health professional for your own individual assessment. Stay safe, wear your mask and be kind to yourself and others.