Masterful Mindsets ~ Grief and Depression During the Holidays
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity. The price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. – Earl Grollman
Are you suffering the loss of a loved one this holiday season? Is someone you know grieving or dealing with depression? Do the holidays bring up past hurts and feelings of sadness?
Last week I told you about my dad’s passing and I was flooded with responses. So I want to start today by saying thank you, to all of you who sent messages with kind words and prayers. It means a lot to know what a caring and wonderful community I have. And it is with the utmost gratitude, that I express my deepest thanks. Please know that even though am I here to support you on your journey, you have truly helped me too.
The holidays are a tough time to lose a loved one. For that matter, the holidays can be an emotional time no matter what, but especially for anyone who is going through a difficult time. It may be the loss of a loved one but it can also be other hardships, like a broken relationship, a lack of direction, a failed business, an illness, a family quarrel or even a dream that did not come to pass this year.
The holidays can also bring about a lot of additional stress which in turn can cause emotions to escalate. So today I want to share some caring tips for coping with grief, depression or other strong emotions through the holidays.
If you or someone you know is struggling this holiday season for any reason, read on and please feel free to share this with anyone who might benefit from it.
Here are 7 things to remember when you are struggling with grief or depression during the holidays:
Pace Yourself – Don’t over-commit. Know what you can handle and don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. Negative emotions can be exhausting so it’s important to give yourself down time.
Honor Your Needs – Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. What if you don’t know what you need? Then say that too. A great place to start is by taking care of yourself through rest, relaxation, meditation and prayer.
Honor your Feelings – Allow the feelings to flow. Over the last several weeks, I have found myself crying at odd things. It’s okay. Allowing the feelings to flow through is a healthy way to heal. Holding emotions in is not.
Don’t Judge – Everyone handles grief differently and depression can show up in many ways, for many different reasons. Never judge yourself or another for what they are feeling. Judgement only creates more negative feelings and does not support anyone in a positive way.
Do Something Different or New – Family traditions can be overwhelming when you are grieving a loss. If you are dealing with heartache in your life, please don’t feel like you have to go on status quo. It might be a good year to do something new or different. (Who knows, it could turn into a wonderful new healing tradition.)
Know Your Limits – It’s good to challenge yourself a little every day otherwise you can sink farther into depression but pushing too hard and ignoring your needs is not the solution. Know what you can handle and give yourself permission to say “No” when you need to.
Get Support – Allow your loved ones to support and care for you. Being alone during the holidays can cause you to fall deeper into depression. If you are feeling hopeless or helpless, please seek help from a grief support group, myself or another professional.
My challenge to you is to be gentle with yourself or anyone you know who is having a difficult time this holiday season. It’s okay to not feel like celebrating the holidays. Follow the tips above and only do what you feel comfortable doing. Another great way to work through this time is to journal. A gratitude journal can be especially helpful to get you to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. It’s a great practice to get into and do all year long. Be support for others who are struggling this holiday season and know that I am here to support you too.
***I want to hear from you… Share your comments below.