Managing grief and loss can be very overwhelming and isolating at any time of the year, not to mention during the holidays. Whether you have just recently lost someone and this will be your first holiday season without your loved one, or your 10th, it can be extremely difficult maintain the happiness and gratitude that pressure us all during this time.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to grief at the holidays according to Amy Morin over on Psychology Today.
- Trust that grief is a part of the healing
- Set healthy boundaries
- Focus on what you can control
- Plan ahead
- Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions
- Create new traditions
- Do something kind for others
- Ask for help
Grief is never something that you will “get over”, and understanding that will help aide in the process. It often comes in waves, and the holiday season can sometimes be a more difficult wave. As the holidays tend to be about spending time with family and loved ones, it can always be a reminder that you are missing that special someone.
It’s okay to feel sad or mad during this time. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to be happy and grateful every second of the day. Allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come up will help to eliminate the guilt and pressure that we often put on ourselves to “get through” something.
A lot of people find that doing something for someone else, like volunteering, or buying gifts for those in need can help fill a void they might be feeling during the season. This can help you feel like you are doing something positive with your time, honoring your loved one, and creating an atmosphere of gratitude with are all great ways to heal.
Dr. Melissa Estavillo talks about this topic in the video below:
Know that you are not alone in your grief. Many other people are also going through something similar during this time. There are often support groups in your area, and if you’re here in the Phoenix, Arizona area please don’t hesitate to call us to set up an appointment with one of our wonderful grief therapists.
Dr. Melissa Estavillo is a Licensed Psychologist and founder of Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. With over 7 years of experience, she specializes in both individual and couples therapy in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques stemming from Emotionally Focused Theory, Psychodynamic Theory and Other Evidence Based Practices to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client.