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Beginning New Year Blues
The holiday season just ended, time for your New Year's resolutions to being. Instead you may have feelings of heaviness in your heart, feeling disoriented, feeling others don't know how to act around you, feeling disconnected and alone. Have you suffered a loss of someone close and are experiencing intense grief? You are not alone. Loss of a loved one due to environmental or natural causes can completely discolor your mood and experience and add to stress and intense emotions. Though we can't bring back those we have lost, how do we cope to allow some sense of connection or peace in the New Year?
If you find memories of your loved ones return after the holiday hubbub has diminished, these ideas may help you manage your grief.
Make New Year's resolutions measurable, realistic, and obtainable. Taking on too many changes too quickly can spiral your anxiety out of control.
Allow time for grief. Make a specific time to think about and allow your feelings to come forth in whatever form they take. Journaling and writing down feelings can be helpful.
Create rituals that honor your loved ones. This could include lighting a candle, having a “talk” with your loved one, writing a letter to them, or hanging a special decoration in
Be forthcoming and learn to ask for what you need from family and friends related to helping you with your grief. Many do not understand the experience, but still would like to help. Some want to express their feelings, some would rather reminisce alone.
There are many support groups in the area that can help with the grief process. Looking into churches, local counseling companies, contacting hospitals and funeral homes, researching on the internet are some valuable resources. The internet can be a great resource for online options if you prefer that modality.
Pace yourself and include enjoyable activities. Spend time with friends; make weekly exercise a regime to reduce stress and increase well-being.
If grief becomes overwhelming, especially while beginning your New Year, please contact a licensed therapist trained in dealing with grief and loss issues. There is help out there, you just have to be willing to ask and seek it.
As Helen Keller once said, “We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in the entire world -the company of those who have known suffering.”
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