For many, the holiday season is a time to reconnect with family and friends. They may plan to return home or to familiar places filled with happy memories, laughter, and warm experiences. For some, however, the holiday season can be a bittersweet time that reminds them of the things they have lost and people who are no longer with them. These individuals are more susceptible to experiencing SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and other forms of depression.
5 Effective Ways to Deal with Loss
Talk to a therapist: Grief is hard no matter the time of year. To assist in alleviating and beginning the healing process, it can be helpful to seek professional help. Not only is a therapist a listening ear, they can also be helpful in learning and developing healthy coping skills. Therapists are also trained in utilizing processing questions that can help to provide insight into harmful thoughts and beliefs regarding grieving and the grieving process.
Embrace Feeling Lonely: Absolutely every human will have to develop a capacity to be by themselves at some point in their lives. While the word ‘lonely’ typically has a negative connotation, being lonely is not an inherently bad thing. In fact, loneliness and solitude provide space for evolution, understanding, and the development of self-love. When one is alone they are often able to hear their thoughts more clearly and develop a healthier relationship with their mind and bodies.
Prepare yourself and Create a plan:The holidays occur annually and in the same manner each year. This fact allows you to prepare and begin coping ahead of time. If you know the holidays are hard for you, you can begin creating a game plan for how and with whom you will spend your time. This allows you to prepare for and create healthy experiences that still can either honor those you have lost or celebrate with those who are still with you.
Create New Traditions: Traditions are what make the holidays festive and enjoyable. Creating traditions that represent your personality and make you happy is a great way to combat grief. Inviting friends and family members to partake in your tradition create a space where love and intentionality exist.
Practice Gratitude: It can be easy to dwell on the things you have lost and the things that cannot change. However, every holiday season is a reminder that you are still alive and have so much potential for change. Utilizing this time to practice gratitude can help to alleviate some symptoms of grief and loneliness, as well as set a foundation for moving into the new year. Practicing gratitude can look like writing a list of all the things you are grateful for, spending time with those you love, and even investing in rituals to honor those who have passed.
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