December Blog: Tips for an Emotionally Healthy Holiday Season


Seasonal Health

Thanksgiving through New Years might seem like the most wonderful time of the year, but for many people, it’s not. In a season of celebration and endless festivities, the painful flood of emotions from losing a beloved family member or friend can stifle feelings of happiness and hope. Family gatherings and holiday traditions can trigger memories, both good and bad, leaving emotional reserves drained and affecting physical and mental health.

While hiding from the sights and sounds of the holidays might seem like the best way to avoid heartache and grief, shifting your focus from pain to preparedness can help pave the way for healing now and for years to come.

The following list of holiday coping strategies allows you to process your feelings and honor your loved one all at the same time.

  • Give a much-loved holiday tradition a makeover. From decorating the tree to family dinners, start each event by lighting a special memorial candle for your loved one or place a bouquet of fresh flowers at the head of the table in his or her honor.
  • Take time to honor your spiritual or religious traditions. Spend time in quiet prayer or meditation reflecting on the love and happiness you shared with your loved one and the beauty of his or her life. Focus on feelings of gratitude and joy for your own life as well.
  • Think outside the box. Every day throughout the season, write down any feelings, thoughts or special memories you have and place them in a box. Wrap the box up and place it under the tree in honor of your loved one.