The loss of a loved one can be difficult at any time. With the start of the holiday season, you may experience increased anxiety, stress and sadness. Holidays can even pose a challenge for those who have been doing well. Some reasons for difficulty through the holidays are: holidays are filled with memories; you may recall the first or last holiday you spent together, holidays are family times and the loss of a family member is exemplified. It is also a reminder that your family will never be the same, and because of that, some of your family traditions may need to change.
There are few simple strategies to help reduce additional stress during the holidays. It may help to look at what has helped you through other losses in the past. You may be able to implement the things that were helpful during that time. Next, get plenty of rest. Grief can bring on fatigue and increase anxiety. Decline events that you know will overwhelm you. You do not have to attend every party and function. Communicate to your family and friends what you need during this season. And last, allow yourself to do things differently. Just because you change things this year does not mean that you have written it in stone, next year you can change it back or do things another way.
There is no magical way to get through the holidays. Do what feels right and comfortable for you. And take time to love and be loved, after all that's what the holiday season is all about.
Please feel free to contact Odyssey HealthCare for additional information on dealing with grief for the holidays or anytime of the year.
LeeAnn Reon, B.S.