Preventing Fear, Sorrow, and Anger from Overwhelming You

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today and she has been writing weekly posts about COVID-19. We’re sharing them here. We hope they are helpful to you during this pandemic.

We’re all likely experiencing many emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. If we’re fortunate to still have a reliable income and live with people we love (and with whom we get along) and are not at high risk for COVID-19 complications, we could well be experiencing many positive feelings. We may be enjoying time with family that was rare before we were required to stay home. We may be noticing the best in humanity and feeling gratitude for the generosity, heroism, and kindness surrounding us. We may be finding opportunities to slow down; start a meditation practice or online fitness program; discover longed-for creative outlets; and catch up on sleep. We may be laughing at humorous memes spreading across social media. We may even be socializing more than ever through video calls and catching up with old friends.


Of course, we may not be so fortunate. For those who’ve lost family members; are alone and lonely; are separated from their loved ones enduring severe COVID-19 cases in hospitals; have lost their source of income (with an uncertain safety net yet to kick in for an uncertain amount of time); are trapped in a violent home; or who are on the frontline, exhausted and exposed, it’s likely that the tougher emotions are common.

Even if we are lucky in most ways, we’re bound to experience difficult emotions, too. Life right now is surreal, and unless we are burying our heads in the sand and treating social isolation like a vacation with at-home delivery services, the media will remind us regularly of the danger we are in and the terrible suffering people are experiencing across the globe, especially the most vulnerable. Moreover, whatever emotional struggles we already had can be exacerbated during times of stress, and a global pandemic is certainly a time of stress.

psychology today