Christmas is a very emotional date for most people, but even more so for those who have lost a loved one. In these times, memories are activated and the feeling of absence increases depending on how close the person has been or how recent their departure has been. For this reason, it is natural that those who have suffered a loss react to the celebrations with sadness, irritability or bad humor. On this occasion, Antonella Galli, a psychologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, gives us some guidelines to cope with the grief.
Recommendations to cope with the grief during holidays:
- Connect with yourself
It is crucial to pay attention to your own emotions, changes in your body and thoughts related to people who are no longer with you
- Not avoiding feelings
Many times, we can adopt risky behaviors in order to avoid feeling pain; some of these behaviors are: drinking excessively, consuming drugs, using psychotropic substances, being in a toxic relationship, self-harm, among others
- Express what you feel
On many occasions, the loss of a loved one can happen all of a sudden, so it can be helpful to express yourself through a letter or perform a farewell ritual.
- Talk to someone you trust
Talk to another person about their sadness, grief, or pain; in addition to your memories and thoughts, it can help you assimilate what you have experienced and give you a different perspective
- Find support groups
If you feel that you are not understood by the people around you, you can look for support groups that are going through a situation similar to yours; there are groups on social networks that can support you with this.
- Read help books
- You can use books to help you understand your feelings.
- Seek psychotherapeutic help
If you feel that you cannot continue with your life routine, such as taking care of your family or continuing with your projects due to the pain and/or guilt that afflicts you, it is advisable to seek help from a professional to process the grief
- Letting yourself be infected by the energy of others
Allow yourself to feel one emotion at a time; in addition to pain, open a space to feel longing and remember good times together with your children and / or family, who like to celebrate and share good wishes at Christmas.
Finally, our specialist mentions that in grief it is inevitable and normal to feel sadness at times; However, if all the time the affected person is thinking or lamenting about the past without giving space to enjoy, even a little, his present, he may fall into depression. Some of the warning symptoms are: isolating yourself from others, irritability, negativism, pessimism, low energy, problems sleeping, attending, concentrating, wanting to be in bed and starting to avoid day-to-day responsibilities. If so, don’t wait for time to pass and seek immediate help from a mental health specialist.