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You don’t always have to lose a loved one to grieve, proven by all types of loss experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you’ve lost your job, sense of identity, or purpose. Maybe you no longer have hold of motivation, a solid routine, or connections. Perhaps all of the loss has been compounded for you by increasingly prevalent racism in this country, and you feel grief for your community at large. It’s a long list of situational and systemic-rooted causes, and three mental health experts we spoke to agreed that tending to mental health, especially now, is crucial.
Gina Moffa, LCSW, a therapist with specialties in grief and trauma counseling, told POPSUGAR that grief can certainly be traumatic. The fact that it might not be directed toward a death results in a lack of clarity, and that makes it extremely hard to move forward, she said. Jenny Wang, PhD, a psychologist in private practice and founder of the Asians for Mental Health Directory, added that people could also be mourning the life they might have lived if the pandemic had not occurred.
Ahead, you’ll find tips from Moffa, Dr. Wang, and Alexmi Polanco, LMHC, of Poder Healing on how to manage grief brought about by the pandemic and events thereafter. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but hopefully there’s something here that helps as restrictions — but not necessarily hardships — ease up across the country.