It’s OK to grieve, says doc
AS COVID-19 up-ends life as we know it, a clinical health psychologist from Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Centre is stressing that it is perfectly acceptable to feel sad about it.
“We are experiencing a lot of disappointment right now – in both small and big ways – and grief is going to be a factor,” Dr Amy Sullivan said.
She said people should look through the lens of grief and process emotions.
Experts recognise these stages as denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and acceptance. However, people do not step neatly from one stage to the next.
Dr Sullivan said it was normal to go from feeling despair one day to anger the next.
“It is important for us to accept where our feelings are at the moment and process through them, and then move into a more positive position of acceptance,” she said.
“This is a time when people need to become innovative and develop their own individual sense of coping that works for them during this time.’’
Examples might include deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, journalling, talking with another person, or going for a walk.
Dr Sullivan stressed that staying connected was a powerful tool for coping during hard times, it can help people to keep a positive attitude.
She said many trained mental and behavioural health professionals were currently seeing patients through virtual visits, so if people were having trouble coping then this could be a solution.