Coping With Grief During the Holidays
It's an unfortunate fact that the major family-oriented holidays occur during the darkest winter months. The minimal natural light and cold temperatures tend to intensify feelings that are associated with depression and sadness. Low natural light and harsh environmental conditions are a fact of life. These are things that make dealing with especially difficult around the holidays.
Grief is defined as the personal actualization of loss. The emptiness that is caused by the loss of a loved one, or a radical shift in life events is hard enough to comprehend without added environmental factors. One of the primary notions that CBT and counseling instills is the importance of realizing that loss can be combated during any seasonal condition.
Suffering from the feelings of loss is an extraordinarily personal activity. The conundrum of losing a loved one creates the need to hide away. Certain involuntary actions make a person adopt a reclusive lifestyle. It is absolutely imperative that someone dealing with the loss of a loved one should seek opportunities to interact with others. This is particularly troublesome during the holidays. All traditional events are centered on public interactivity. Loneliness, and the feeling of loss, compel a person to withdraw. Even if no meaningful connections are made during the holidays, participating in lively events is powerful in countering negative feelings.
Radical Environmental Changes
It is proven that people suffering from conditions like the loss of loved ones experience physical changes. One of these is the release of the stress hormone Cortisol. This hormone contributes to negative metabolic functions like weight gain, plus extends periods of mental cloudiness. People dealing with troubles during the holidays can fight physiological responses with good lighting. A home decorated in high intensity LED lighting not only provides a fun display for viewers, but gives beneficial light for people struggling with hormonal imbalances due to prolonged depression.
Become the Life of the Holiday Festivities
The feelings associated with grief are powerful. They compel a person to focus on the most horrible aspects of an event, or personal story. It is important to remember that lost loved ones ultimately would want their survivors to experience the best in life. Try honoring the unspoken wishes of a late loved ones by getting involved in holiday events and activities.
Volunteer for community holiday celebrations. Make it a point to donate to holiday charities. Open your home to a network of people who are involved in creating interesting holiday functions. If the loss of something, or someone is particularly tough during this season, allowing yourself to reconnect with people is a powerful tool in curbing negative thoughts associated with previous setbacks. Opening oneself to the positivity and celebration of others during the holidays is a simple and effective coping mechanism.
One of the most difficult jobs of a counselor is educating individuals about the intimate elements of dealing with grief. Every person has a unique response to the loss of something important. These responses tend to emerge during holiday seasons that center on interpersonal relations. After dealing with a period of negative feelings, it is difficult for a person to rejoin family and friends in a holiday celebration. A counselor can illustrate why seasonal social activity is important for regaining a hold on life after loss.
Many simple and complex actions can be taken to provide a person suffering from loss with the tools needed to rebuild a foothold on living well. The holiday season is a difficult time to start these actions, but it is also a time where therapeutic actions work the best. If a person works with a certified counselor to understand the many facets of their sadness, worry, and despair, they can learn to use the holiday season as the perfect time to achieve an emotional turnaround.
Practical things like attending social events and installing adequate lighting in the home help with curbing symptoms of sadness. Consistent professional counseling however, is the key overcoming the curse of being grieved. Don't let another holiday season go by without seeking professional counseling to address tough life issues.
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