If you have lost a family member or friend, the holidays can be a difficult time. The season is all about spending time with loved ones, so you may feel more of a void than usual — and possibly even feel guilty about indulging in holiday cheer. If you are not yet seeing a therapist, you may want to consider this option. Find out what else you can do to make the season easier on yourself.
What You Can Do for a Happy Holiday Season
Incorporating the memory of your loved one into old traditions helps the healing process by creating an outlet for remembrance. Have their photograph on display, share stories about them, or play their favorite festive music. You can also leave an empty chair or light a candle in their place at the dinner table.
While you should take the time to acknowledge your loss, it can also help to incorporate a new tradition into your holiday season. Volunteer work is a wonderful way to get out of the house and give back. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters often host special events this time of year and can use extra hands.
How a Therapist Can Help
Speaking about your emotions is essential to the grieving process. Talk to your friends or family when you are feeling low. This openness can be especially helpful if there are teenagers or children around who may need some encouragement to open up about their feelings.
If you need further support, you can join a local bereavement group. This gives you the chance to talk to others who know exactly what you are going through. Local churches or community centers often host such groups.
A therapist can also be instrumental in helping you acknowledge your grief and find healthy coping tools that work for you. Counseling provides an objective sounding board in a private, protected setting.
If you need support following the loss of a friend or family member, therapist Colleen Torrence MEd, LPC of Juneau, AK, can help. She has over 15 years of experience and counsels people of all ages. From trauma counseling to family therapy, she approaches her patients with compassion and understanding. You can get a full overview of her services online. For an appointment, call (907) 789-9212.