Handling Grief During the Holidays
Whether or not this is the first holiday season that you are experiencing without a loved one or one of many that have passed over the years, this time when family and friends are the focus can be extremely difficult. Being clear with what you're facing and taking steps to help you through will make all the difference in finding the joy these last few weeks of the year. According to an article in a recent edition of the HuffPost, written by Jenn Morson, here are some sound suggestions.
- Share memories with your loved ones. Don't be afraid to talk about your loved one, share stories and memories. Sharing happy memories allows their presence to be felt and is a healthy way to deal with your loss.
- Blend old traditions with new ones. Trying to hold on to all of the traditions associated with the past can be overwhelming. Choose the ones that bring joy and are most important to you and adopt new ones that cherish as well as heal.
- Cut back on seasonal stressors. Don't try to do everything you have done in the past. Your emotions will be much more tender this year and trying to do too much is not a good idea. You need time to reflect on your own, as well as share time with family members. Don't be afraid to say no and give yourself time to heal.
- Give mental support a try. Grief support groups are especially helpful at this time of year. Hilgenfeld has one that meets every first and third Tuesday of the month at 4 pm. Making connections with those facing the same feelings is certain to help.
- Pay attention to possible unhealthy coping techniques. Depression can sneak up and take many devastating forms. Excessive drinking, pulling away from family and friends or self harm are all signs that individuals may be having difficulty coping. Be aware of these tendencies in yourself and others you know who may be suffering through a loss this season.