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Sheryl Sandberg Has a Powerful Message About Dealing with Grief Amidst a Pandemic

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is no stranger to grief and loss. In 2015, she lost her husband Dave Goldberg.

And just recently, she reportedly lost another family member. This time, due to complications from the coronavirus.

She’s more equipped to deal with this more recent death though. And now, the ‘Option B’ author is helping other people process their own grief with these tips.

Understanding the Three Ps

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Sandberg also reminds people that it’s okay to not feel okay

Sandberg admits that she used the three Ps psychologist Martin Seligman identified to be holding individuals back from recovering from a traumatic thing that happened to them.

These three P’s are as follows: personalization, permanence, and pervasiveness.

The first P entails someone blaming themselves for the tragedy or loss they’re facing. Sandberg shares that she used to ask herself whether she could’ve done something to save her husband’s life.

Doing so held her back from properly dealing with grief. But she, later on, realized how she couldn’t have known what would happen to him when he suddenly passed away.

The second P that gets mourners stuck is permanence, which the Facebook executive described as the belief that the effects of the event won’t ever go away. The reality is that people would continue to remember and miss their lost loved ones but they won’t feel the same week one grief forever.

Lastly, there’s the idea that grieving has pervasiveness over all aspects of a person’s life. Sandberg reminds people that while everything may look awful from their perspective, not everything truly is.

Opening Up

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Consider speaking with a family member or friend about your struggles or feelings

It can be difficult for some to open up about the things they’re feeling. However, doing so can help them feel better despite what they’re going through.

What more, verbalizing one’s emotions and thoughts can allow them to better understand themselves and be understood by other people as well.

Caring For Yourself

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Journaling about traumatic events can decrease a person’s anger and anxiety

At the end of the day, there’s no one better to help a person go through the grieving process than their own self. This is where practicing self-compassion would come in handy.

Sandberg advised people to think about how they would care for a friend who just lost someone and urged them to do the same for themselves.

Treating oneself with kindness can jumpstart the healing process. Then, they can move forward to start seeing the good things about life once again.

Sandberg also emphasizes how dealing with loss and instability, such as what the world is experiencing right now, can lead to personal growth.

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