Coping With Grief During COVID-19
Loss is an unavoidable part of being human, and grief is a natural emotion that is caused by loss. The novel coronavirus also referred to as COVID-19, traveled rampantly through the world, affecting millions of individuals in a variety of ways. Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI) asserts that COVID-19 “is associated with a respiratory illness that may lead to severe pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, states all across America instituted social distancing guidelines, implemented sporadic stay-at-home orders for all non-essential workers, and closures of restaurants, schools, entertainment venues, and more. These guidelines altered the way friends and family can gather and grieve, including holding traditional funeral services, regardless of whether the person’s death was due to COVID-19. Coping with grief without being able to surround oneself with loved ones can be difficult. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer suggestions to help cope with feelings of grief during the pandemic, including the following:
- Acknowledge your losses and feelings of grief.
- Explore ways to express your grief through creative practices (e.g., writing, visual art, playing music, cooking, etc.).
- Stay connected to friends and family through mailed letters, email, phone, video chat, or via apps or social media platforms.
- Maintain routines as much as possible.
- Recognize that working through grief is a process and give yourself permission to move through it at your own pace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the wide variety of causes of grief that can manifest, such as being unable to connect in person with friends, family, or religious organizations, missing special events and milestones (such as graduations, weddings, vacations), and experiencing drastic changes to daily routines and ways of life that bring comfort. Some people may experience multiple losses. In situations when they occur concurrently the losses can complicate or prolong grief and delay one’s ability to adapt, heal, and recover. In these cases, pursuing guidance from a grief counselor or another qualified mental health professional may be advantageous.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, in the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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