Coping with Disappointment During the Pandemic

Natalie Altenburg shared with Healthy Lombard that due to the pandemic, many things have been postponed or canceled.  From concerts to film premieres to family gatherings, many of the events that we look forward to simply will not be happening when we want them to or how we want them to.  It is easy to feel disappointed because of all these changes.  While it is okay to feel however you feel, it is also important to have healthy ways to deal with these feelings.  Here are a few ways to help deal specifically with disappointment during the pandemic.   

  • Look for things to be grateful for and take time to recognize them.  When there are so many things going wrong or making us feel negative emotions, it can be easy to get caught up with those emotions.  However, finding things that we are grateful for can help with lifting moods and focusing on more positive things.  One way to do this may be to write down what you are grateful for.  Another thing to do may be to identify people that you are grateful for and send them a nice note to let them know that you are grateful for them.  

  • Find ways to add excitement and happiness throughout your daily routine or weekly schedule Maybe you plan to make yourself a really great latte midway through your day.  Maybe you and your friends schedule a weekly Zoom call.  Whatever it is, try to plan something that you can look forward to that you are also able to control.  This way, you are still having some fun, but because it is on your own terms, it will be much harder for something to get in the way to prevent it from happening.  

  • Find ways to express your disappointment.  Having an outlet to express how you are feeling is an important self-care strategy that helps to manage difficult emotions.  For many people, being creative is a great outlet.  Some benefit from painting, dance, or playing an instrument.  Doing something as simple as writing down your feelings can help. 

  • Talk to someone.  Knowing that so many people are dealing with disappointments right now, it may be a good idea to talk to friends and family members about how you are feeling.  This way you may be able to feel some comfort by verbally expressing your feelings and speaking to someone who may be able to empathize with how you are feeling.  If you need more support than a friend or family member can provide, it is always a great idea to talk to a professional, like a therapist.  

Again, it is completely okay to feel whatever feelings come up during this time.  It is important to honor and acknowledge those feelings.  However, it is equally important to finding healthy ways to deal with those feelings. 

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