Huntsville counselor discusses grief during coronavirus pandemic

More people are seeking help with mental heath during the pandemic.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 3:49 PM
Updated: Apr 15, 2020 7:46 PM

Every one of us is forced to deal with changes in our day-to-day life, with no end date in sight. 

The disaster Distress Hotline, a federal crisis hotline, said it has seen an 891% increase in calls this March, compared to last March. 

A Huntsville counselor, Brynnan Reddy, said she is talking with her clients a lot right now about how to cope with these changes. 

"That really uncomfortable feeling you're feeling right now is grief," Reddy said. 

When most people think of grief, they think of losing a loved one. However, right now more than ever, there is grief all around us.

"You know, we're grieving our old lives, trying to adjust to a 'new normal,'" Reddy said. "'Cause you know, we're kinda in this for the foreseeable future. Who knows when it's going to wrap up, and it's going to be totally different. Our lives are going to be totally different as well."

Reddy admits even she is dealing with grief. She is a mother, having to balance running her practice and making sure her kids are learning from home. 

When she is talking to her clients, she said she tells them it is important to not set unreasonable expectations. Instead, maintain a routine and find ways to self-care.

"It could be making sure you're getting outside everyday, making sure you're connecting with some people in some way," Reddy said. 

She even suggested limiting your news exposure since it can cause anxiety. If you feel isolated, she said reach out to someone, and do not be afraid to talk about what you are feeling.

"You can be out and about your neighborhood and keep those social connections going while keeping physically distant," Reddy said. 

When it comes to the term, social distancing, Reddy suggests using physical distancing instead, since there are ways to remain social using technology.

She said she has seen an increase in clients using tele-medicine, which more insurance companies are now covering.

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