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How can I deal with grief over the holidays?

The holidays can be stressful enough on their own. When you’re still reeling from the sudden loss of a loved one, the holiday season can seem almost impossible to deal with. In this case, finding a way to cope with your grief is of the utmost importance. Psychology Today offers the following tips, which will allow you to navigate your grief throughout the holidays.

Honor the memory of your loved one

Many people find that honoring the memory of a deceased loved one to be very cathartic. There is no limit to the ways in which you can do this, from watching the person’s favorite holiday movie to cooking a beloved recipe and sharing it with friends and family. Just because the person is gone doesn’t mean they must leave your heart or thoughts, and honoring them in small ways helps keep their memory alive.

Don’t limit your emotions

It’s natural that you’ll feel a wide range of emotions during the grieving process. Sadness, anger, frustration, and even guilt are all common when dealing with grief. Don’t tell yourself that it’s inappropriate to feel one emotion or another. If you find you’re having trouble regulating your emotions, consider speaking with a counselor or behavioral therapist.

Take care of yourself

You don’t need to accept every invitation you receive. If you need time for yourself, feel free to say so. While it’s important that you remain connected to friends and family during this trying time, you also want to take time to care for yourself and your own emotions. In the same token, don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary. Chances are your friends and family will be happy to do their part.

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