The more quarantined and isolated we become in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more uncomfortable our feelings and thoughts, which we have been avoiding, may surface. You may begin to feel the weight of loss (or losses) in your life that you’ve been too busy to grieve. If you experience anything like this, you are normal. However, being aware that this may happen and having a plan for how to respond could really promote mental and emotional healing during this unexpected pause in our lives. The following are 3 thoughts on how you might manage uncomfortable emotions, thoughts, or grief that arise during this corona virus pandemic:
- Practice mindfulness. Acknowledging that some emotional discomfort may come can make it feel less shocking or overwhelming when it does. Youtube or download an app with mindfulness practices if that’s your style. Try to become an observer of yourself and your thoughts and feelings; observe with curiosity rather than judgement. Self-acceptance and self-kindness doesn’t happen overnight, but we can practice. (app ideas: insight timer, headspace)
- Consider that this might be the time to pursue engaging with a professional mental health counselor. Many will be available thru telehealth, or online counseling, and can meet via video call from the comfort of your own home. If you have medicaid insurance, you likely qualify for counseling free of charge. If therapy is something you’ve been considering, perhaps now is a good time to take the leap.
- Moving our bodies can help us release emotional tension. If moving your body sounds like something you’re up for, you might consider incorporating yoga or dance or stretching into your daily routine while you’re holed up. Mindfulness can help us become more aware of where we carry emotional tension in our bodies; we can then move our bodies in ways that release that tension. (ideas: “Work-IN with Lue” with Luella Pavey on Facebook, Youtube yoga videos, etc.)