Feel Your Feelings
Moffa said that sometimes people come into therapy and report their feelings, but they don't feel their feelings. It's important, she noted, to allow those emotions to take their course. Dr. Wang agreed, stating that she wants to emphasize this for Asian Americans. "The Asian culture is steeped in being strong and stoicism," she explained. "A lot of times we may try to actually suppress and reduce our emotional reactions or responses to not burden other people, to not overwhelm others, to protect other people." She noted that crying can be therapeutic and cleansing for the body (you can even just put on a sad movie or song, and release your emotions in that way, she said).
Polanco, too, acknowledged that grief is very painful, and avoidance is a tendency for many people. Giving yourself permission to grieve, though, allows you to process those emotions, she said. She also suggested scheduling time during the week amid commitments you have going on to sit with yourself and recognize that grief, especially if you don't have a strong support system in place.