There is a lot of grief today.
We see (in our practice) a lot of grief around schools being cancelled, events, things we were looking forward to, people losing their jobs and their sense of purpose. There is a lot of sadness with college kids going to school for the first time. Caregivers are wondering, do we pay for college if it is online? Or out of state…There is much anxiety over caregivers trying to work from home and juggle the kids.
As a result, covid-19 has had a major psychological impact, causing people to lose a sense of control and security, with an increase in anxiety and depression.
All of these changes have affected the way people live now. The way we shop, exercise, worship, eat and play. Why is this so upsetting? Humans have a natural tendency to feel attachments towards other people. But, you might not realize it, humans have these feelings and attachments towards work, routines, places and things.
So you may wonder, what is grief? What does it feel like? Feelings like numbness, emptiness, unable to feel joy or happiness are a few signs. You might also have physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or eating, excess fatigue, muscle weakness, or shakiness. You might have nightmares or socially withdraw.
There are basically five stages that people bounce around in the state of grief. There is denial which is like a dream state, bargaining (should have done this or that), anger, sadness then acceptance. Over time these feelings become less frequent.
It can be an awful feeling but it serves an important purpose. Grief can help you recognize that you have gone through a loss and you’re going to need to adapt.
- Recognize your feelings and write them down. Allow yourself to feel sad.
- Give yourself grace and time. Have patience with yourself. Self care is just as important now– take walks, take an online yoga class, try a meditation online.
- Stay connected. Don’t let social distancing prevent you from getting the support you need. Use phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media to stay in touch with those that are positive and supportive. Reach out to those in similar situations. Pets also can provide emotional support.
- Turn off the news or limit it. Watching or reading news can only increase your anxiety. Try to cut down on the amount of news you watch/read.
- Find the positives. There have been a lot of negatives through much of this, but there is always a silver lining. Find the positives in all this and keep those in mind. For me, it is more time with my family, dinners around the table, and the ability to slow down.
If you are having trouble and need to talk with someone, please seek help. Our therapists are trained in grief, depression and anxiety and are available in office OR by telehealth (over zoom, facetime or googlemeets).
You can watch Trent’s talk about Covid-19 and grief on his behind the door series.