Coronavirus, home confinement and grief

Good day to you beloved fellow home confined Britons

This morning we woke to the new reality of home confinement. This initial 21 day period may just be the start. In fact, there is an understanding that it takes 21 days to embed a new habit…

I felt both frozen and anxious. Remember the discomfort one feels when considering the future death of a loved one? That anticipatory grief describes my feelings when considering the open ended, possibly disastrous future we face in this pandemic.

How to deal with it:

  1. Understand the 5 stages of grief and that it is not linear but cyclical – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance present themselves in any order.
  2. The sense of panic (a result of fear, anxiety and entering the unknown) and discomfort can be eased by occupying my mind with my immediate environment. Explore ways of entering your unique present moments.
  3. Find meaning in the new situation. David Kessler who wrote On Grief and Grieving with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, has written a book on this Finding Meaning: The sixth stage of grief.
  4. Embrace this time of retreat as a rare opportunity.

I wrote this piece inspired by The Harvard Business Review of 23 March 2020.

PS: Don’t drink as much coffee as your body can hold. I’ve just tried it and I feel worse for it.

Dr Herman Holtzhausen is a Psychotherapist based in Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK. He is a Registered Member of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Qualifications include Bachelor degrees in Law and Divinity, a Masters degree in Family Therapy (thesis on Online Therapy), a PhD in Systemic Therapy and Mindfulness, and a current enhanced DBS certificate.