Grief & Sorrow During the Holidays: 3 Tips to Help Cope With & Manage Sadness During the Holiday Season by Dr. Teralyn Sell
The holidays can be a time for celebration and joy. A time spent with loved ones in merry and cheer. But, for many, the holidays can bring something far less welcoming and joyful: immense grief and sorrow.
Coping with grief is a large enough task for one person to manage. Throw in the stress of the holidays, as well as the seasonal and temperature changes that come with the holidays, and it can then appear to be an impossible and lonely undertaking.
Grief during the holidays can be very stressful. Whether it’s missing a loved one, a family pet, the loss of a job or even the loss of being able to visit family during a pandemic, the common denominator is grief. Grief can bring about sadness, irritability, pain and stress. If left unmanaged or unacknowledged, this grief can lead to larger emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, and can even lead to health-related issues such as problems with the immune system.
Here are three ways that one can cope and manage grief during the holidays:
- Memorialize the loved one that has passed. Make sure you include the memory of your loved one in the traditions of the holidays. Share stories, look through photos or even serve their favorite dish or drink at the holiday meal.
- Don’t forget about you. If the grief you are feeling is because you can’t be with your family or friends for the holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic or other reasons, create some new traditions. It is a reaction to just let the day pass, but instead, try to celebrate on your own. Connect with your family and friends through the phone or face time. Make sure you include a family tradition in your own home that will bring the holidays alive.
- Seek help. If the grief you feel is overwhelming and unremitting, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. Find a therapist or support group that specializes in grief and loss. There are also some really helpful social media groups that many people have been turning to for help during the pandemic.
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