How to Handle Sadness During the Pandemic

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Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a lot about how to handle anxiety and fear during this pandemic. Today I want to focus on another feeling the whole world is experiencing right now: Sadness.

Sadness for the loss of lives due to COVID, sadness for the horribly unnecessary and violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless names that came before theirs.

Sadness and outrage for the racial injustice still flourishing in 2020.

Sadness is a tough emotion to be present with. Many of us want to push past it or pretend it’s not there.

But we need to honor our sadness in order to move through it. In this post, I’m sharing ways to safely feel your sadness and process it during these difficult times.

These are the techniques I’m using every day, and I want to share them with you.

How to honor your sadness and discomfort

Find meaning and growth amid discomfort | The Universe Has Your Back card deckWe must take time each day to be very present with our feelings of discomfort. We have to be in a place of consciousness that we’ve never known before.

We must care for the parts of ourselves that are extremely activated. Have you noticed old stories, patterns and fears reappearing lately? Things that you thought were resolved kicking up again?

You’re not alone.

Right now we need to show up for what’s up. If we don’t show up for what’s up, it will keep coming up. So let’s do our part to show up. One simple way you can do this right now is to leave a comment on this post sharing what you’re sad about. You can say in the comments, “I’m sad about this and sad about that.”

We can’t skip this step. When we feel sad, powerless, overwhelmed or disconnected from our faith, the first step isn’t to jump into a method or meditation. The first step is to honor the feeling.

Honor your sadness by talking to your inner child

A powerful way to honor your feelings is to recognize your inner child and talk to them. Lately I’ve been paying attention to the situations in which I notice little Gabby, my inner child, show up. I’ll say, “Oh, there’s that heart palpitation. I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’m wanting to rage, wanting to act out, wanting to force my energy onto people. I’m feeling out of control.”

I’ll immediately notice that feeling. I’ll breathe into that feeling. And then I’ll say very directly to myself, “Little Gabby, I’ve got you.” Because at the end of the day, no person outside of ourselves can care for the little innocent person within us the way that we can.

We can speak to our inner child and say things like, “Little Gabby, I understand you’re having a hard time.” Or, “Little Gabby, you need to feel sad right now.” You speak to yourself with a lot of love and compassion.

Speak to your innocent child self with compassion.

I do this same thing with my son. I’ll say, “I see, Oliver, how uncomfortable this is for you. I honor what you’re going through. I respect what you’re experiencing.” I’ll hold him and I’ll say, “I understand.”

I’ll give him that love and respect instead of saying, “No, no, you’re fine. Move on. Let’s go play. Let’s go watch a show. Let’s go do something else,” in an effort to push him past it.

When you fully process and let that feeling move through you, that’s when you can redirect. This is the work of Dr. Dan Siegel. It’s a strategy he calls “connect and redirect,” to meet the child where they are and honor what they are capable of taking in at the moment. Connecting has to come before redirecting.

We can parent ourselves in the moment

True healing occurs when I give myself permission to feel whatever feelings live beneath the triggers | The Universe Has Your Back card deckThe same way we parent our children, we can parent ourselves. To do this, we want to give ourselves that same level of respect, nurturing, guidance and connection. It may mean that we have to go sit in the bathtub for 10 minutes because we need a private space where we can just feel our feelings and cry it out.

We’re all feeling the waves of emotion this experience is providing for us. This global situation is giving us all an opportunity to learn how to care for the child part of ourselves that’s getting activated.

Our adult selves are ready to figure things out: to make the grocery list and go to the doctor’s office and do whatever we have to do. But the little part of ourselves isn’t being honored and nurtured right now.

Honor the parts of you that are feeling lost, sad, insecure, uncertain or fearful at this time. Give yourself a deep level of love and respect.

You can start speaking back to that inner child. Say things like, “I love you. I’m here for you. I respect you. I honor you. I hear how uncomfortable you are right now. I hear how scared you are right now. That’s okay.”

If this is an unfamiliar practice to you, consider it in the context of talking to another person. Imagine you go to a loved one and say, “I’m having a really hard time right now. I’m sad and I’m scared.” They wave their hand dismissively and say, “You’re fine. This isn’t a big deal. Move on.”

It’s likely your reaction (whether internally or out loud) will be something like, “Screw you. I can’t move on. I have to be present.” That interaction will only make you more activated. The same is true when you do it to yourself.

Cultivate a deep level of love and respect for yourself.

Be the adult resource self for your own inner child. Speak back to that part of yourself that says, “I’m terrified. I’m out of control. I don’t know what’s going on.” Notice it, witness it and see how it feels in your body. And then lovingly and respectfully speak back to the little being within you: “I’ve got you. I hear you. I respect you. You’re doing the best you can.”

Practice calming Jin Shin Jyutusu holds

In my free Anxiety Relief Workshop, I teach two holds that are part of a Japanese healing modality called Jin Shin Jyutsu. These are very simple moves you can use in the moment when you feel overwhelmed by sadness, anxiety and so on.

Here’s how to do them:

Doing these holds helps you get back into your body and reconnect with yourself. It’s a practice of self-soothing and self-care.

Make compassionate self-talk a daily habit

Right now our inner dialogue is drama and chaos. Give yourself the chance to shift your inner dialogue by establishing a new way of speaking to yourself and a new level of respect for yourself. When you honor your sadness and your feelings of fear and insecurity and loss, you’ll gain a sense of presence and connection that you may not have ever known before.

You might know that I practice everything I teach and always test my methods on myself. I can say with great conviction that the most valuable practice for me right now is speaking to, honoring and respecting that child part of myself that is super activated. I do this every day.

When you’re ready to guide yourself into a better-feeling emotion, I suggest using the Abraham-Hicks emotional guidance scale to get there bit by bit, step by step, without forcing anything. (For more in-depth guidance on this tool, check out chapter 4 of my book Super Attractor.)

The more you practice this on yourself, the better you’ll be able to support your loved ones, too.

Watch my free Anxiety Relief Workshop for more methods to feel safe

If you want more guidance, I recorded a free 50-minute workshop for you where I teach six methods for anxiety relief (including the holds above).

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The spiritual tools I use to maintain a steady sense of peace during difficult times
  • A technique that helps you feel comforted within minutes
  • My favorite guided meditation for feeling uplifted and safe
  • An anxiety relief method you can use anywhere, anytime

This Anxiety Relief Workshop is my gift to you. Access it here.

Share this with anyone who needs it

Gabby Bernstein outdoors | sadnessIf you know somebody right now who’s feeling sad, overwhelmed, scared, or is struggling to manage their feelings, please share this post with them.

My intention and my commitment to all of you is to create a safe space where you can come to receive guidance that you can trust. The way I can guarantee you can trust the guidance I’m offering you is because I’m living it completely and fully.

Every single day I’m waking up and offering that same guidance to myself. I’m living it, I’m breathing it, I’m allowing these methods and processes to move through me.

I want to support you, and I want to remind you that the Universe is always guiding and supporting you as well. I hope this post helps you to honor your feelings, handle your sadness and know that you are safe.

Books to further support you with handling sadness

No-Drama Discipline book coverIf you want more guidance on how to handle sadness, judgment, fear and relationships during this time, here are my book recommendations:

  • To help you be more compassionate to yourself and others in difficult times, check out Judgment Detox.
  • For any parents wanting guidance on supporting your kids right now, read No-Drama Discipline by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, as well as Trauma-Proofing Your Kids by Peter Levine and Maggie Kline.
  • To proactively change your thought patterns, read May Cause Miracles.
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  1. I am sad that I feel completely insecure right now. I am not staying consistent and feeling high and lows emotions, this week very low. I am impatient waiting for a job opportunity and I know I am my biggest obstacle… maniac manifesting and praying and then so down on myself. I’m scared. I go back to the eft I did with you on Dear Gabby, but worry of my future takes over when I am not hearing about any jobs. I am a single mom with little support but will do whatever I have to but the emotions and anxiety is overwhelming. Thank you for the tools and for MM community!

    1. Sending lots of prayers your way, Deirdre. If you haven’t seen Gabby’s Instagram Live with Laura Day, you may want to check it out. (You can find it on Gabby’s instagram page.” I think the conversation will really resonate with you.
      Also, here are some additional posts and practices that you might help you shift into the energy of faith and receiving.

  2. My sadness is so heavy, a constant blanket all encompassing. My daughter is a drug addict, the grief & the loss of the last 10 years I can never get back, she’s only 25. My marriage didn’t make it & my health has suffered. The loneliness & isolation was already enough without Covid. Thank you for the miracle membership it’s my daily connection to life. My hope for love & happiness.

    1. Sending you lots of love, Rebecca. I’m glad that the miracle membership is serving you.

      Feelings of sadness and grief are nothing to dismiss. At times therapy and/or medication is necessary to help us get to a place where we can safely heal your wounds.

      As you continue showing up for yourself, you may receive guidance through your spiritual practice that leads you to someone who can help you process your unhealed feelings. For example, you might be led to an EMDR specialist, an EFT practitioner, or a spiritual counselor. Gabby is a strong believer that God works through people.

      In the meantime, you may find these blog posts helpful:

      I don’t recommend these practices in lieu of individualized medical care whatsoever, but you may want to check them out as another tool on your healing journey, if they resonate with you.

      If you have any other questions or need any more support or resources, please don’t hesitate to email our team at We read and answer every single email.

      Sending a lot of love your way. xoxo

  3. I am sad that I am resisting the light. It scares me bcs I know we are moving into new earth and I want to be part of it. But me resisting my light scares and saddens me, bcs I want to be the guiding light that I feel I am. But I see so many messages from my angels and miracles too. So, I guess this is part of my evolving.❤️

    1. Sending you positive vibes, Val. Here are some posts and practices that you might find helpful:

  4. I’m sad that my business is struggling and I’m not enjoying it the way that I used to. I’m sad that I still have people who I have laid off and I’m not helping them support themselves. I’m sad that my body is in pain and the tapping sometimes helps and then it comes back with a fury. I’m sad that I think that there is some trama in my early years that I can’t seem to put my finger on. I’m sad that the world is in such chaos. I’m sad that there is much judgment in the world and that judgment leads to more drama.

  5. I am sad about not being able to resolve my relationship issues – pre-covid. I haven’t seen him in 3 months and the situation just gets worse – I fear it will crumble before I get to hold him again. I fear abandonment, of being left unheard, of being without the man I love. I am sad for the turmoil the world is going through – racial injustice, and emotional and physical brutality. I am sad that I cannot make a greater impact with my clients who need my services but whose health is compromised and needs to make a sacrifice (I work with children diagnosed of ASD). This affects my financial stability .. therefore I am sad I cannot continue to lead the same quality of life having to be frugal. There – I showed up for myself today. I completed Day 1 of May Cause Miracles. I am willing to witness my fear. Onward and upward, J.

    1. Thank you for your honest share, Jackie. Sharing here is a sign that you’re ready to make meaningful change. Wonderful that you have started May Cause Miracles and have been willing to witness your fears. May this 40 day practice help you work through your feelings of sadness. In the meantime, here are some additional posts and practices that you might find helpful:

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