Understanding Pandemic Behaviours
I was recently asked how I got through lockdown mentally. Of course, I was patient with myself, allowed myself to feel whatever emotions came up be that many and took lots of time for self-care. However, I also realised that everyone was going through the Grief Process.
We are all grieving our old lives and routines, there are 5 recognised stages of Greif and not all people will experience them all or in the same order. It helped me to understand so I thought I would share. After the initial shock when our lives got turned upside down overnight, the first stage of Greif is ‘Denial’ This helped me understand people who think the pandemic is a scam or deny it exists. When you understand the reason behind a behaviour, it encourages more empathy. The next stage is ‘Anger’ when you look at the rise of the protests in the initial lockdown period and beyond you can see this emotion play out.
Stages 3 and 4 are ‘Bargaining’ - The what ifs’ and If only’s and ‘Depression’ which of course a lot of us may have experienced, then finally ‘Acceptance’. I’ve seen a lot of regular clients in the acceptance stage since returning to work in July which is wonderful, there has been a lot less stress apparent in their tissues than before lockdown in some cases. Many people have used this time as a reset to examine what was and wasn’t serving them in their lives and have made positive changes.
But remember grief cycles, so we may go back through the stages as things change and new restrictions are introduced. We can cycle through all of these stages multiple times and sometimes within one day and that’s ok if we do. This cycling can feel like you are experiencing swinging emotions, but of course, everyone will have a different experience.
If you feel like your emotions are all over the place sometimes remember it’s completely normal, be patient and gentle with yourself and reach out and connect to others when you can. Give yourself time, give yourself a hug! be a friend to yourself and maybe think of any positive changes you could make in your life during these times however small, but with no pressure. Of course, my heart reaches out to those who are grieving lost loved ones.