How to Cope With Loss During the Holidays

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Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, which can seem quite daunting to those who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one. Holidays become especially difficult for those who are grieving and often come with isolation and loneliness.

Tamara McClintock Greenberg has some tips for successfully navigating this holiday season with grief at Psychology Today.

Make Plans

For one reason or another, specific days may be harder than others. Think about the upcoming schedule and try to make plans, which include where you’d like to be and who you want to spend time with.

Connect with Others

Because dealing with a loss can bring a feeling of loneliness, reaching out to others who are experiencing the same thing can form a unique bond that helps both parties.

Allow Yourself to be Sad

Part of grieving is simpy knowing that you don’t have to hide your true emotions. Even when spending time with friends or family, you are allowed to be sad if emotions overtake you.

Understand Your Jealousy

Being jealous of those who are not coping with loss is a normal response. Understand that you might feel envy, but don’t allow it to overtake you.

Note How You’re Coping

The holidays are an especially dangerous time to be grieving because they are an acceptable time to overindulge on food or alcohol. Pay close attention to how you soothe yourself and be sure you’re not using food or alcohol to escape.

Most importantly, remember that there isn’t a right or perfect holiday experience. Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. You may decide that giving back to those less fortunate sounds better than trying to make it through a difficult dinner with family or friends. Whatever you decide, make it the right decision for you.

 

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