Thursday, August 20, 2020

What Stage of Pandemic Grief Are You In?

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

How has the pandemic affected you? We have suffered many losses. The loss of jobs, face-to-face relationships, and much more. When we mourn the death of a loved one or the loss of society as we know it, we go through five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What stage of loss are you in?

We are multifaceted beings with spiritual, physical, emotional, and social components. We need to evaluate each area of our lives and understand how the pandemic has affected us. Then look at ways to improve in those areas of need.

In the spring I was in the denial stage because I thought the pandemic would end in June when viruses such as the flu become dormant. When it didn’t end, I moved into the depression stage. That’s when I wrote the blog post, Fighting Pandemic Burnout.

In July I was surprised when my state, Florida, rose to number two in the nation for coronavirus cases with 15,000 new cases per day. Life as we knew it has unquestionably changed. How are you coping?

Physical exercise helps me cope. Since the pandemic I walk one to two miles a day, every day. In the morning, before I have a cup of tea, I walk a half-mile. I also walk in my house when I am reading or critiquing my writing. Walking is a stimulating practice that improves my energy and mood. I never walked consistently before the pandemic, but it has become an excellent physical outlet and coping strategy. What have you done to improve your physical health during the pandemic?

Social distancing has been tough for all of us. Writer conferences are virtual instead of in-person. I’ve limited my socializing to a small group of friends and family. As the president of a Word Weavers Writers Critique Group, I’m hosting Zoom meetings versus in-person. But every Friday night, to socialize, I meet with a few friends at an outdoor restaurant (we’ve all bought small table-top fans to deal with the heat). I also talk for hours on the phone with friends and my sisters. Have you spoken to a close friend recently?

Regarding my writing career, I accomplished something I wanted to do for eighteen months. I created a course, 7 Steps to Reclaim Your Health and Optimal Weight. This course is popular and helping a lot of people. I feel like I am fulfilling my mission. 

In September 2020, I will be helping others lose their pandemic pounds through weekly Facebook Live sessions in my Facebook group, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar, Carbs, and Gluten. My #1 Amazon best-selling book, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, will be on sale too. So if you want to lose some weight you’ve gained during the pandemic, please join me in my Facebook group. 

As writers we should take this opportunity to be creative. What book has been brewing in your soul? What course have you been scared to create? What project has been low on your list that you could do during this downtime? What virtual course or writer academy could you join?

I haven’t done as well spiritually since I am not physically attending church on Sundays. I miss my church family. Do you? So I added accountability by asking a close friend to watch the Sunday service with me each week. I also try to do a daily devotion right after my half-mile morning walk. How is your spiritual health during this challenging time?

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic lasted about eighteen months. I believe that until we have a vaccine, life will remain as it is with COVID-19. I’m in the acceptance stage of the grieving process. I accepted this is the new reality for at least the next six months. I don’t like it. No one does. But I’m okay with it. My heart and soul are at peace. 

Have you accepted the new reality yet? If not, what stage of grieving are you in?


Susan U. Neal, RN, MBA, MHS
Susan’s mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACH with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published five books, the Selah award winner 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESCHRISTIAN STUDY GUIDE FOR 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESHEALTHY LIVING JOURNALSCRIPTURE YOGA a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, and YOGA FOR BEGINNERS which ranked #3. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks and two Christian Yoga DVDs that are available at CHRISTINAYOGA.COM. Her digital product HOW TO PREVENT, IMPROVE, AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA is a great resource. To learn more about Susan visit her website SUSANUNEAL.COM You can also connect with Susan on FACEBOOKTWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.


  1. Susan,

    Thank you for these stages and also the practical ideas for every writer to use and handle all the massive changes we have been experiencing these months. It has been hard for everyone but moving forward rather than standing still with our writing is one of the keys from my view--and I'm moving forward every day.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Very well put. Moving forward one day at a time. Blessings, Susan