As the world continues its battle against the Coronavirus, lockdowns and panic have been seen to stir communities into chaos. From food and basic necessities being completely wiped from supermarkets to hospitals and medical centers being in short supply of personal protective equipment, it is understandable how one might envision a future of darkness. But it is within these moments that help individuals gain insight on the present and learn how to ground themselves on the blessings that surround them. It is through this reflection process that Mr. David Kessler has described the different levels of grief that communities around the world are experiencing (Berinato, 2020).
In this discussion, Kessler goes on to speak to the variations of grief and how he believes coping looks like for different individuals. My biggest takeaway from this concept of grief is not to eradicate the negative that has been building within our minds, but to “find a balance in the things you’re thinking” in order to “come into the present” (Berinato, 2020). He goes on to explain that this idea is similar to the methods of mindfulness and meditation and the point is to calm the anticipation of what might happen and focus on what is actually happening now. This can then bring the individual back into alignment with their concentration and ease up the space that was being filled by their negative thoughts. Another key point Kessler challenged individuals to do was to “stock up on compassion” in a way that lets others have their space to go through their own process of grief (Berinato, 2020).
We are all unique and it goes without saying that this point in time is being experienced in a multitude of different ways. Therefore, we must build each other up by understanding their process and allowing them the freedom to express their grief whether it matches ours or not. We do not always know where people are in their journeys and it is encouraged to keep this in mind when watching others cope the best way they know how. The last point Kessler discussed was “emotions need motion” (Berinato, 2020). This came to me as an “aha” moment because one of the basic goals of therapy is to establish goals into a form of concrete behavior. So, it makes sense to apply the same theory here. Indulge in the current emotion one is experiencing and act on whatever that feeling may be. Whether sadness comes in the form of crying or hugging or happiness comes in the form of laughter or smiling. The key is to embrace the emotions and give them life so they can pass through us just as bad times come and go.
Below is a Youtube video that some may find helpful during these times of uncertainty. Mrs. Morimoto does a great job at helping individuals ground themselves in the moments of crisis they might find themselves in. This again is a way to “come into the present” and focus on what is going on now.
Morimoto, R. [Modern Aging – Holistic Health and Wealth After 50] (2020, March 9). Anxious About Coronavirus? Try These 10 Calming Techniques [Video] Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN01hJirr1E
Berinato, S. (2020). That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grie
Written by Valerie Perez, Doctoral Intern