While many of us may still be experiencing anxiety, depression, and fear, you might also feel a shift toward grief, anger, and discontentment, said Mead. "Whereas a year ago, my clients were fearful and uncertain about the virus, employment, and schooling of their children, my clients now feel a sense of grief over what has been lost," she said, be that a loved one who has died, a major life event that's been missed, or money or opportunities that have vanished with the economic downturn. "I am noting that anxiety has turned more to sadness, hopelessness and anger," she said.
Adding to the struggle is the fact that, for many of us, the locked-down lifestyle is still in place. That makes it difficult "for some people to move past their grief, when nothing much changed in life from day to day," said Jeremy Enzor, PhD, LCMHC, a clinical instructor for the psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner program at Walden University.
What to do: People experience grief in different ways, but one thing to remember is that suppressing your emotions won't help, said Kahina A. Louis, PsyD, a licensed psychologist and CEO and founder of Strengths and Solutions, in a previous interview with POPSUGAR. Instead, start by acknowledging your feelings and validating them. "Beating yourself up for feeling sad when 'it could be much worse' only worsens the experience by now introducing feelings of guilt or shame," Dr. Louis said. Therapy and meditation can also help.
If you've lost a loved one, know that it will take time to get to a place where you can come to acceptance. The process might not be linear, so be as patient with yourself as you can. Sometimes talking about the death of your loved one with friends or family can help, as well as sharing stories about them, spending time with other people who knew them, or even listening to their favorite music. Remember and celebrate your loved one as you feel able.