It’s OK to grieve, says doc

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE­STYLE -

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.

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