After losing someone close to us moving on can be difficult and even feel impossible at times. The holidays can make this difficult time even harder. Many people go through the stages of grief after losing a loved one, however it is important to realize that grief is an ongoing process, there is no timeline for when you will suddenly be cured. My clients often say they just want to feel normal again, but this is just not realistic. In order to develop a new normal you need to allow yourself to go through the grief process. The 5 Stages of Grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These are not in any particular order and you may find yourself jumping from one to another within a day. This is ok.

I want to stress the importance of allowing yourself to feel these feelings. You need to allow yourself to go through the stages and feeling without attempting to suppress or change them. I have found that people typically want to isolate during the holidays, they want to escape their feelings and memories, or live in denial. Isolation can be in the form of staying in the house and making excuses to not come out or escaping reality by going on a vacation. Isolation often leads to depression after all if you are locked up in your house you are certainly not taking advantage of your support system or use your coping skills. When we do not allow ourselves to feel our emotions and go through the stage of depression, then anger comes. Unfortunately, anger often comes out on those that we are closest to, our support system. Find healthy ways to get your anger out, punch a pillow, journal, writer hate mail but don’t send it, exercise, talk to someone.

It is important to remember that there is no set guidelines for how to grieve or when you will feel better. My best advice is that you allow yourself to be upset, be sad, be mad, cry, scream, GET IT OUT. If you have a safe person in your life allow them to help you with this. If you are still stuck check out some of the books and resources that are here on my website.

 

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