The Holiday Season is typically full of joy and love, everyone looks forward to them all year long. I personally have friends who listen to Christmas music all year long because of the joy it brings them.  However, when you lose someone you love you may find yourself being torn between wanting to be joyful and yet dreading the reality of the holidays without your loved one.

There is no doubt that the loss of a loved one changes our lives forever. In the beginning, we may not even be able to really understand what that means! The holidays are hard and one of the best ways of coping with them is to first admit that these are tough days and weeks. Sometimes just saying the truth out loud can help alleviate the anxiety that grief creates within us.

Know the 90 second rule, when we resist a feeling we inadvertently get stuck in that same feeling, when we allow ourselves to feel that feeling it typically passes. In grief we often resist feeling because it hurts however it is essential to acknowledge those feelings order for them to move through you.

Second, make sure you make plans. It is always good to make a plan. Grief takes away so much and leaves us feeling helpless at times. When we make a plan, whether it is to spend the day with family or to visit the grave, you are taking back some of that control. It helps create a balance between the two.

Last, please take care of your physical self and reach out for assistance. Grief takes its toll on our physical self. When we are grieving we don’t sleep as much, we make take too much comfort in food that does not nurture our body and we may just not feel like doing much! In other words, many who are grieving find themselves with a compromised immune system and overall just feeling yucky. I encourage you to take time to just do one thing a day that will help your physical health. Maybe it is seeing your doctor, drinking your 64 oz of water a day, or ensuring you get a good nights sleep. There is a link between feeling physically good and emotionally healthy.

If you’re having difficulty coping with grief, we are here to help. The Center for Hope & Healing offers resources to help you deal with your loss because we understand how important it is for you to honor your loved one’s memory by moving past sadness and back into life. Call 636-328-0878 for support, or to learn more about all we have to offer.


Kelly Karavousanos, LPC, CT
Director, Grief Services
Center for Hope & Healing