How do fall and winter holidays make you feel? It’s common for the blues to affect people during this season of the year. Finding a solution to the depression caused by holiday loneliness does take some effort.
Holiday glee suddenly stops for those who are feeling sorrow and pain due to death of loved ones like the families of the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center. We pray for those who are feeling the pain, numbness, and shock of the massacre that took the lives of their dear ones. There is no reasoning of why the shooters (the couple who had a new baby in their lives) committed the horrific massacre that can ease the pain families and friends are feeling. You may help by donating to Arrowhead United Way or donating blood to Lifestream.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are favorite holidays for many people but not for everyone. Holidays can be exceptionally difficult for people who don’t live close to family. It can be a lonely time. Those who have lost a loved one due to divorce or death may fight depression any time of the year but especially during November and December.
Losing parents or loved ones is hard no matter what time of the year it is. A month ago, on November 7th, my dad passed away. There is nothing that can take away the fact that you can no longer hear your loved one’s voice or laughter, see his or her smile, or spend time together. Nothing and no one, however, can ever take away sweet memories.
Every person grieves differently. Take it one day at a time. If I have time alone that I feel like crying, that’s what I do. If I’m surrounded by my granddaughters, there is no time to cry. They make me laugh, and they demand my attention. Filling spare time by doing activities with family or friends is very important when grieving. Learn to cope through the grief by finding something to do when you have to be alone.
9 Coping Tips for Holiday Blues
I thought of things that have helped me since the loss of my father. If any of these seem helpful to you, try them. Either they can make you smile or keep you so busy that you don’t have time to dwell on the sadness you feel.
- Focus on needs of family members and friends – Cooking Thanksgiving dinner was one way I filled the holiday blues. This was one day that I absolutely did not want to be alone.
- Read an inspirational book – I purchased a Where Women Create magazine and browsed through its pages.
- Watch Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna on Netflix – Seeing a dilapidated house turn into a beautiful home is fascinating and lightens the mood.
- Babysit your grandchildren – You can’t help but feel joy with them.
- Pray – Prayer always helps the soul.
- Blog – Making yourself sit down at a computer and write blog posts to encourage others is actually therapeutic.
- Drink a cup of your favorite coffee – It can give you a feeling of comfort.
- Bake a special dessert to enjoy with someone – A favorite dessert is a comfort food.
- Cook a meal for relatives or friends – Doing a good deed for someone else draws your attention away from yourself.
Do you know a friend who has lost a loved one? Knowing what to say is nearly impossible. Being able to relate by having lost a dear one yourself still doesn’t seem to give you the right words to comfort another.
What do you say to or do for people who have lost a loved one?
- Listen! Let them know you want to listen if they want to talk. One of the difficult things for me has been that when some friends do call to comfort, they want to talk about when their loved ones died. There is no chance to convey what I feel inside. During the time of loss, the survivors of are hurting and feel the need to talk. Telling another friend about the pain and memories helps.
- Tell your grieving friend a story about a memory you have of the loved one they have lost.
- Tell your friend you want to spend time together over coffee. Schedule a date and time. Treat them to coffee. Over coffee, ask how your friend is doing that day and be attentive. Then you can go on to other topics that you both enjoy talking about.
- Take your friend shopping. Of course, shopping trips always are nice when lunch breaks are included.
- Invite your friend over during the holidays. Plan a Christmas dinner with games, or go for a drive to look at Christmas lights.
An important part of holidays is doing something special for others. Giving is better than receiving. Need encouragement? Give your time, cook a meal, bake cookies, or make a craft and present to a person suffering from holiday loneliness.