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Dealing With Grief During The Holidays

Holidays force us to realize just how much our lives have been changed since the loss of our loved one. Particularly in the very first year or first few years. Coping with grief during the holiday season can be very difficult.

Especial during the end of the year when everywhere we turn it's all about the holiday. October and November are known as the time when most folks are getting ready to enjoy family, friends and fun. It's the time of year when laughter, tradition, planning and good times are just second nature until tragedy hits, making the holidays one of the most difficult times of year after the loss of a loved one.

TIPS: Dealing With Grief During The Holidays

1. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings you may have. Regardless of your feelings, sadness, grief, anger, joy, just allow yourself to grieve.

2. Practice self-care. Do not turn to alcohol or drugs to to self-medicate. Exercise is often an antidote for depression but whatever helps you regroup or recharge, do that.

3. Write about your feelings. Writing in a journal is a great outlet for your grief and understanding your feelings.

4. Ask people for help. Asking for help can be difficult but it's it's really important to ask. Even if people aren’t offering to help, ask anyway. Ask for a little patience, ask time, ask for ideas on how to handle the holiday "days", ask for help cooking ...... whatever you need help with, ask for help, you don't have to cope alone.

5. Let yourself off the hook. Don't feel guilty about not wanting to over indulge in all the holiday festivities. Just be honest with yourself and do only what you are up to doing.

6. Acknowledge your traditions. Decide which traditions you want to keep and which traditions you want to change and perhaps if you want t create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.

7. Volunteer. Instead of sitting home alone think about volunteering during the holidays in memory of your loved one.

8. Seek Counsel. If your grief feels like too much to cope with, seek counsel. Grief counseling is under-rated. Going to visit with a professional specializing in grief, trauma or simply "life" on a whole could be just what you need to cope with ease.

Remember is there is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holiday season after the death of a loved one, just don't shut down. Communicate with the people that love you. Communicate that you are ok or communicate that you are not ok. Regardless of how you may be feeling about the first holiday season, plan ahead. Get support from others wanting to love on you in whatever way you need, and take it easy.

Simeaka Melton, Dear Girls Academy, Inc.

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