Julia Samuel, vice-president of the BACP, psychotherapist specialising in grief, and author of two best-selling books on the subject is in no doubt about the deep effects of the Covid pandemic on a broad range of people in the UK. 

During an interview with Welldoing CEO Louise Chunn, she talked of the obvious bereavements that people who have lost loved ones and family members, but also pointed out that every living loss is made worse right now, because connection with others is made so difficult by increased restrictions of socialising. "When you are suffering connection is the thing that is  most important for a good outcome, having to isolate when you are grieving is devastating." 

In this 20 minute video Julia talks about how Christmas is a particularly difficult time for the bereaved, as families and friends tend to gather in the same place every year, and that continuity is broken. Families may differ in how to deal with this, making the situation even worse.

Julia, who has recently launched an app to help people who are bereaved cope with their loss, has some great tips for lifting yourself out of low mood:

  • don't block your feelings
  • name the way you are feeling
  • examine the individual elements of how you are feeling
  • try to add in a few things that may help, eg go for a walk, watch something funny on TV
  • writing a journal of your thoughts can be therapeutic 
  • do something that gives you a spark of pleasure 
  • connect to someone else for a phone call

"We are born to be habitual, so try to build 5 minutes of a good habit. It will shift you and gives a much bigger outcome than you might imagine. Small things within our power can make a difference -- so double down on self-care, connection with others, movement and shifting and you will have more resilience and basically feel better," she recommends.

Julia Samuel is the author of Grief Works and This Too Shall Pass. Information about her app can be found here https://griefworkscourse.com/