This insightful article written by HBR staff includes thoughts shared from the world's foremost expert on grief, David Kessler. It outlines the classic five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance) and how they apply to our current, collective mental state during this pandemic.
Accepting, then finding balance in your thoughts, no matter how horrific is essential to calming your mind and being present. It's comforting to know that imagining the worst scenarios is actually a natural, protective defense of our mind. But now I will be more mindful to think about the best things to balance myself out.
Being a bit of an empath, I pick up on what others are feeling. This makes times like these very challenging for me. It's always helpful to remind myself and loved ones that we cannot control how others are dealing with their fear and anxiety, but we as individuals can control our own acceptance and compassion.
Kessler shared his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it. The conversation is lightly edited for clarity.