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Thriving through tragedy

Pandemic caused emotional distress for many
Posted at 7:26 PM, Sep 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-26 19:26:10-04

ORLANDO — Over the last year, the pandemic has progressed from terrifying, to inconvenient, to a long-term, life-altering event. A national poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of all Americans feel that the coronavirus has negatively impacted their mental health. Some have been putting on their biggest smiles and brushing off this on-going tragedy thinking this is the best coping mechanism. Always finding the best in every situation could be hurting you more than it’s helping you.
Failing to acknowledge hardships can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.
“If they don’t have a strong coping mechanism, a strong stress management toolbox I call it, it affects how they deal with everyday life and it can escalate,” Abeela Haq, a licensed mental health counselor at Orlando Health, told Ivanhoe.
One of the best ways to cope with stress, tragic optimism. Experts say this kind of philosophy may be the best way to get through. Discover meaning among chaos and find a happy medium where difficulties and challenges are seen as a learning moment rather than a threat. Also, grow from your stress. Some people who experience a traumatic event have difficulty coping and may develop PTSD. Instead, accept and analyze feelings of distress, and use them for self-improvement.
“You have to embody your emotions, you can’t just shut them down or push them aside,” shared Flora Torra, EdS, SP, SEP, and school psychologist.
Remember grief is normal, it’s what happens after the loss of someone or something important to you. If you are experiencing a tragedy and overcoming it feels too overwhelming, there is support available. Better Help and Refuge in Grief are online resources available to help those through grief. For those who want help with grieving from the COVID-19 pandemic you can text the word signs to the crisis text line at 741-741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.