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  • Robert Preidt
  • Posted May 22, 2020

How to Cope With Your Grief During Coronavirus Pandemic

Grief is touching the lives of countless Americans as the COVID-19 death toll mounts.

The death of a family member or close friend can be among the most difficult things you'll have to deal with, so the American Psychological Association outlines ways of coping with that loss -- whether or not it is coronavirus-related.

Talking about the death with friends or others can help you understand what happened and remember that person. Avoiding the issue can lead to isolation and interfere with the healing process.

You may experience a wide range of emotions -- from sadness, anger or even exhaustion -- and should accept them, the APA says in a news release.

"All of these feelings are normal and it's important to recognize when you are feeling this way. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by these emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track," according to the APA.

The grieving process can take a toll on your body. Try to eat healthy foods, exercise and get plenty of sleep to help maintain your physical and emotional health. Check in with your loved ones to find out if they're taking these steps to maintain their health while they're grieving.

Help others who are dealing with the same loss. Spending time with loved ones of the deceased can help everyone cope. Sharing stories or listening to your loved one's favorite music can make a big difference for some grieving people. Helping others also makes you feel better.

Remember and celebrate the life of your lost loved one or friend. Anniversaries of the person's death can be difficult for their family and friends, but also provide an opportunity to remember and honor them.

You might collect donations to the person's favorite charity, pass on a family name to a baby or plant a garden in memory. Choose something that allows you to honor you relationship with that person in a way that feels right to you.

More information

HelpGuide.org has more on coping with grief and loss.

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release
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