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That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief

https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief

hbr.org

That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief
Executive Summary During the global pandemic, a palpable sense of collective grief has emerged. Grief expert David Kessler says that grief is actually multiple feelings that we must manage. In an interview with HBR, he explains how the classic five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance) apply today, and the practical steps we can take to manage the anxiety.

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We're feeling different griefs

We feel the world is different, and although temporary, we know it will not be the same again.

We feel the fear of economic turmoil and the loss of connection. And we're grieving collectively.

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Anticipatory grief

Anticipatory grief is feeling unsure of what the future holds. It is that same feeling when someone gets a grave diagnosis. 

We know there is a storm brewing, and it breaks our sense of safety on a micro and a macro level.

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Managing all this grief

Understand the stages of grief and realize that the stages are not linear.

Denial: The virus won't affect us.
Anger: You're taking away my freedom.
Bargaining: So, if I social distance for two weeks, will everything will be better?
Sadness: I don't know how this will end.
Acceptance: This is happening, and I have to figure out how to move forward.

Acceptance is where power lies. We find control in acceptance. "I can..."

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Techniques to deal with grief

In unhealthy anticipatory grief, we are experiencing anxiety. Our minds look for the worst scenarios. That's our minds being protective.

The goal is not to ignore the worst scenario, but to find a balance in the things you're thinking. If you think of the worst image, also make yourself see the best image.

Notice the present moment. You're okay. You have food. You can breathe deeply.

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Let go of what you can’t control

What your neighbor is doing is not in your control. What is in your control is staying far enough away from them and washing your hands.

But, you should also have compassion. Everyone will be in a different place of fear and grief. It shows up in different ways.

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The last stage of grief

The last stage of grief is meaning. After acceptance, we want something meaningful to come out of those darkest hours.

We start to realize that we can connect through technology. We are not as remote as we thought. We also appreciate the little things, like a walk.

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Feeling overwhelmed with grief

There is something powerful when we name the feeling of grief. It helps us feel what's inside. You don't have to tell yourself that you feel sad but shouldn't feel sad. Just feel sad for a few minutes.

If we allow the feelings to happen, they'll happen in an orderly way, and this empowers us. Then we're not victims.

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Ambiguous loss

We have lost so much, and many elements missing from our normal lives are intangible and can hardly be identified. Because it is ambiguous, we find it difficult to know what we are mourning.

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Good Grief

The five stages of grief are: 

  • denial (inability to accept reality), 
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  • depression (sadness, emptiness, guilt, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness),
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Nothing good can come from looking at your ex’s Instagram stories or Facebook timeline. When it comes to social media, just say no.