Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It’s an important month to celebrate (be mindful of?) every year, but it’s especially important in 2020. By this point, we’ve been quarantining for several weeks and slowly some states are opening back up. Is it the right time? Is it too soon? The numbers will be able to tell us in a few weeks, but in the meantime, how are we supposed to deal with the anxiety that we’ve been experiencing for weeks and may even be increasing now?
That’s the question that Girls’ Night In, a website dedicated to the practice of taking care, recently asked a group of therapists. This Q&A offers a lot of good insight and answers some of the questions you may have been wondering but haven’t gotten the answers to yet like what to do about your psychosomatic symptoms, how to handle the collective trauma of a pandemic, and what’s the deal with these vivid dreams I’ve been having lately? Here’s an excerpt on feeling grief during this time.
Talking through feelings of loss or working through anger related to loss with positive coping (such as exercise) can support how we move through grief in a healthy manner. It can help us cope when we know what to expect; however, COVID-19 is quite unpredictable. Grief is also unpredictable. Therefore, it’s important to work on letting go of the control of our emotions and understand that each day will be different and it’s normal to have good days and bad days.
Focusing on our mental health is a vital part of getting through this together, even (especially) if we’re alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone — a friend, a family member, a clergy member, a counselor. We don’t have to deal with this and every emotion it can bring alone. For more information, see our Community Resources page.