advertisement
Updated 09 December 2013

Coping with grief during the holiday season

The holidays can be a time of sadness and grief for those who have lost a loved one, but there are things people can do to ease those feelings, an expert advises.

1
The holidays can be a time of sadness and grief for those who have lost a loved one, but there are things people can do to ease those feelings, an expert advises.

"Personal issues don't magically go away because the calendar turns to November or December. Problems with relationships, jobs, finances or health can take on enhanced importance during the supposedly 'merry' holiday period," Josh Klapow, an associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said in a university news release.

"The death of a loved one during the holidays can trigger strong feelings, even if the death occurred several years ago," he noted. "In the case of someone who died recently, the holidays can take on a whole new meaning for their family and friends."

Tips to help you cope

Klapow offered four ways to ease feelings of grief and sadness during the holidays:

• Don't expect this holiday season to be the same as those in the past. This might lead to disappointment. It is better to celebrate and grieve at your own pace.
•  It is normal to sometimes become overwhelmed with emotions. If you worry about feeling sad at holiday gatherings, try to allow yourself to grieve and maybe cry before going out. It might make it easier to get through such occasions if your emotions have been released beforehand.
• Do not feel obligated to attend events that do not appeal to you. It is important to accept support from family and friends, but you should not over-commit yourself. It is best to give yourself some time alone but avoid becoming isolated.
•  If faith is important to you, try to spend some time with like-minded people. They will often share your desire to pray and talk about common beliefs.

More information

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention offers holiday health and safety tips.


 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.