If you’re like me, while Advent and Christmas can be a special time of year, you have trouble with recurring sadness. Anyone who has ever suffered a major loss can find themselves feeling blue, down, or depressed during the holidays. With age, our losses only accumulate.
Here’s how to take care of yourself during this time:
1) Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat well. Enjoy holiday treats, but remember, everything in moderation.
2) Recognize that alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs only increase stress and will not dissipate your underlying feelings. On the other hand, if your doctor has prescribed you antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, take it as recommended. Do not feel shame because you need some help.
3) Don’t put on a false façade just to please others. On the other hand, if you feel like laughing and enjoying yourself, go ahead! If doesn’t mean you miss your loved one any less.
4) Give yourself a break. You don’t have to fulfill every obligation you may have in the past. Excuse yourself from toxic situations or persons.
5) Give charitable gifts in memory of your loved one.
6) Volunteer or spend time helping others. There is no better way to deal with your grief and honor your memories.
7) With your loss, it may not be possible to continue some traditions. Bless and release the wonderful traditions you and your family have had in the past. Then make new ones!
If you need some extra help, visit https://www.faithandgrief.org/grief-resources/