This holiday season may warm your heart with excitement and joy. But what if you recently lost someone you loved? Or remember those who died years ago? How do you go out, entertain and celebrate when you’re feeling empty and lonely?
If you’re grieving a loss, this time of year can be incredibly emotional. There are some good ways to help you cope and thrive.
Empath Health bereavement counselor Dwight Douglass offers these three simple tips:
- Take control of the holiday or the New Year, so it doesn’t control you.
- It takes more energy trying to avoid a holiday or planning for the New Year than actually creating a plan for how you wish to honor your loved one(s).
- It’s O.K. to not feel like celebrating a holiday, but it’s important to find a way to honor it so you can still feel connected to your loved one(s).
Additionally, here are 10 things from AARP you can try:
- Only do what feels right. It’s up to you to decide which activities, traditions or events you can handle.
- Accept your feelings – whatever they might be. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning.
- Call on your family and friends. Talk with loved ones about your emotions.
- Focus on the kids. Many holidays place special attention on children, and it often helps to focus on their needs.
- Plan ahead.…Create comforting activities in the weeks approaching a holiday so that you have something to look forward to rather than building up a dread of the pain the holiday could bring.
- Scale back. If the thought of many holiday activities feels painful, overwhelming or inappropriate this year, cutting back may help.
- Give. It’s amazing how in times of grief, sometimes the biggest comfort is to give to others.
- Acknowledge those who have passed on. When we are grieving a loss of someone very close to us, it can be helpful to participate in a related holiday ritual in his or her memory.
- Do something different.… Plan new activities, especially the first year after the loss.
- Skip it. If you feel that it will be too much for you and you’d like to simply opt out of participation in a holiday, let family and friends know.
*Credit: Dealing With Grief During the Holiday Season: 10 things to help get you through this difficult time. By: Amy Goyer From: AARP.
You’re not alone in your journey with grief. Reach out to professionals if you need support.
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