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You Are Not Alone: Overcoming grief during the holiday season

In the past several weeks have you experienced sadness during the ‘most happiest time of the year’? Perhaps the holiday spirit has seemed to pass you by. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t shake the fact that ‘this’ holiday doesn’t feel the same. Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of people surveyed said their stress increased during the holiday season, which can lead to physical illness, depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. The reasons given: lack of time, financial pressure, gift-giving, and family gatherings. The fact of the matter is grief and sadness will come. A life void of distress doesn’t exist. However, the ability to trace the source of one’s stress is imperative, in effort to formulate healthy responses. For example, many are experiencing grief this holiday season. Whether one’s grief is traced back to the passing of a loved one, losing a job, or departure from a long-term friendship. It’s important to overcome such grief with perspective. Perspective isn’t ‘what’ you see, rather ‘how’ you see it. Individuals can choose to see this holiday season as an opportunity to cherish the precious memories shared with loved ones. Moreover, to be present and attentive to those around you. To be clear, I am not a psychologist, however, in order to exercise this perspective it may require frequent self check-ins. For the friends and families of those experiencing grief this holiday, make a conscious effort to support them by meeting them where they're at. Cook them a meal, invite them to celebratory events, and sit with them through this process. Words of Wisdom by Char of the Week: The holiday seasons can be challenging for many. However, consider what you want this holiday to symbolize through exercising a healthy perspective. Merry Christmas, and this too shall pass. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18



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