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The Holidays


  
As we clean out the last of the Turkey and trimmings from the fridge, I find myself getting a bit pensive about this time of year. While it`s a joyous time for many with gift buying, family visiting, and joy spreading, it can be a very dark time for anyone who has experienced a profound loss.

The holidays drive home the fact that another year is coming to a close and someone you miss terribly has been gone that much longer. Depression rates tend to increase at the end of the year and I understand why. Like a birthday, anniversary or other special date, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other holiday celebrations leave many cold as they long to celebrate with someone who can no longer do so.

If you`re feeling blue this holiday season, you`re not alone and you should not feel as though you need to "put on a happy face" because of a date on the calendar. As we all know, it`s not that simple. Grief has no on/off switch and you have about as much control over it as the ocean tides. So, with that in mind, I`d like to propose a few things you can do this holiday season to help get you through with your sanity intact.

This holiday consider doing the following when you feel depressed or sad from a recent (or less recent) loss:

- Forgive yourself. Too often, people put time lines on their grief as though it can be compartmentalized and get angry with themselves when that doesn`t happen. You`re doing a disservice to you if you pretend things are OK when they aren`t.

- Seek out support. Many people retreat emotionally during times of emotional stress. While this is understandable, talking to people who understand (support groups are especially good) what you`re going though is more productive and will make you feel better.

- Remember. Attempting to block someone`s memory from your mind may make you feel better temporarily but their life is worth remembering if and when you`re ready. Think about some of your favorite memories (however brief a life this may have been) to honor that person and help you through. If you miscarried, there may be thoughts back to happier times to recollect when you were pregnant.

- Don`t assume anyone understands. You need to tell people how you feel and what you need if you can. If you can`t face visitors, well wishers or holiday parties, those around you need to know to help ease your stress.

By-line:
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of Nursing School. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24@gmail.com
 
 



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