Have you been feeling on edge? Have you been feeling angry or out of control? Have you found yourself withdrawing or avoiding others? Do you feel like you are completely exhausted? There is a reason for that and it is called “Anticipatory Grief.” Anticipatory grief is the feeling one has about what the future holds when we are uncertain. Uncertainty of the unknown impacts our feelings and sense of safety.
Understanding the stages of grief and loss and how to cope during these unprecedented times is important. Kubler Ross’s 5 stages of grief are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness and Acceptance. If you are like so many others wondering if you yourself are experiencing grief, these are some of the signs to look for and some ideas or skills that can help you to cope during this time.
-Feelings of anxiousness or being on edge
-Feelings of anger and irritability
-Sleeping more or less than you normally do
-Experiencing stomach aches or headaches
-Difficulty concentrating on normal everyday tasks
-Feeling fatigued or low energy
-Withdrawing from friends or family
-Engaging in activities that may be unhealthy in order to cope with the anxiety. Like taking up or increasing smoking, increasing alcohol intake, eating more or not eating at all or shopping online more.
If you are experiencing or know anyone who is experiencing these feelings; here are some basic and useful tips that can help.
1. Practice Self-Care: Make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting exercise daily and getting a good night’s rest.
2. Acknowledge your feelings and don’t feel ashamed or be critical of your emotions as they are
valid. Practicing some mindfulness or meditation would be helpful.
3. Build a routine daily that is within your ability to how you are living now.
4. Connect with others using apps like zoom, FaceTime, online support groups, house party to stay engaged.
5. Find ways that help you express yourself through picking up a new or favorite hobby through journaling, dancing, crafting, projects or any other healthy creative outlet.
6. Minimize your time watching and being consumed in social media. Especially, getting caught in rabbit holes to feed that anxiety.
7. Seek counseling with a mental health professional through the use of the Community Counseling Program with the option of face to face or telecounseling options. Additional resources to utilize for telecounseling options are with Military OneSource. For more information about grief, visit https://www.Dougy.org.