Grief and Mental Health
This month is mental health awareness month. There is a real need at this time in history to check in on our mental health, especially for those who are experiencing grief. Each of us interpret life in our own way. There are the standard “stages of grief” but there is very little that is standard about it. We are all experiencing the pandemic in our own way. What happens when you combine the uncertainty of a global pandemic and the loss of a loved one all at once?
Whether you lost a loved one as a direct result of the coronavirus or you are simply grieving a previous loss, grief can have a significant impact on mental health.
As the pandemic drags on the weight of isolation and not knowing what will happen tomorrow can have some serious ramification when it comes to maintaining mental health. Some people find themselves with a lot of time on their hands and others find themselves with more responsibility than seems humanly possible. One way or another life as we know it feels as though it has been thrown into the wash cycle and spun around a few times. It is important at times like this to take note of how our body and mind are coping.
Has your grief seemed to resurface during this time? Maybe with less distraction your mind wanders to those feelings again. Maybe the one you lost would have been your comfort during this time of uncertainty. Wherever you are in your grief story it is important to also stay on top of your mental health.
When Does Grief Turn into a Mental Health Issue?
- Have your energy levels decreased, feeling tired and overly fatigued?
- Sleep isn’t coming easy. Does it take a long time to fall asleep or you can’t seem to stay asleep?
- You find yourself being more apathetic about the things that used to get you excited.
- Experiencing stomach aches loss of appetite or other gastrointestinal problems.
- Are you starting to feel as though you are unable to fully participate in life?
- Have you felt that your hope that things will change diminished as more time passes?
These are just a few of the tell tale signs that the grief you are experiencing is transitioning into a mental health issue. If you or someone you love is starting to feel the strain of grief, the good news is that there are many great resources to help manage your mental health. Always start with checking in with a mental health professional. There are so many great virtual options such as betterhelp and talkspace that allow you to connect with a therapist right from your phone. Grief support groups and other support groups such as Journey to Freedom are currently offering virtual options and will hopefully be able to start meeting in person again in the near future. Whatever you do, be sure to make mental health a priority.
Someone great once said, “It’s ok if you fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart and we still love them.”