Grieving a marriage due to loss is extremely painful for both spouses and children any time of the year. The Holidays can be especially difficult for those transitioning. During the holiday season, the focus on friends, family, tradition, & happy memories makes it exceptionally painful for countless men, women & children who have to deal with the constant reminder that there life will never be the same again.Here are some practical survival tips for coping with loss in order to keep your spirits up:
1. Plan new traditions or special activities especially for when your spouse or loved one's absence will be most painful. 2. Develop a coping strategy. Review whom to call or where to go if the stress. or pain becomes too severe. Force yourself to be with other people. 3. If there are children, review and solidify the visitation schedule at least one week in advance. This will help you avoid any surprises and prevent last minute confusio and anxiety for both you and your children. 4. Even though this is a painful time for you, help your children if they are young, buy a small gift for your ex. It is important to communicate to your children that it is okay for them to love their absent parent.
5. Don't minimize the effect the holiday season can have on your mental state and if you are feeling out of control, seek help immediately. 6. Don't turn to drugs or alcohol to anesthetize your pain. Make arrangements ahead of time to visit with a close friend who understands the depth of what you are going through and who won't minimize your pain or feelings. 7. Learn to say no!!! This can be very difficult especially if you are not only dealing with a loss of a loved one but codependency issues also. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself this year and allow others to be there for you. 8. Join and connect with a divorce or grief support group. 9. Make plans with other people who you know are going to be alone during the holidays. A nursing home, shelters, other singles, even orphanages can be a wonderful place to forget about your own loneliness and giving joy to someone else will not only bless you but give your pain a sense of purpose. 10. Make plans to do something that you have never done before. Go on vacation, visit a old friend, go sledding or skiing.
There are many other great ideas for surviving the emotions of the holiday season. It won't be easy but I'm confident that if you force yourself to change your routine and do not isolate that you will surprise yourself how well you can walk through this difficult time. It's important to make preparations ahead of time because if you wait until last minute, your emotions might be too overwhelming. I am in no way simplifying one of the deepest losses a person can experience. I highly suggest a support group and professional help in order to work through all your conflicting emotions. Men and women who are part of a divorce or grief support system process the stages of grief and move into recovery an average of three years sooner than those who don't. Take this holiday season to treat yourself or someone you know who is struggling with divorce, separation, depression, loneliness or loss, to our Holiday Coaching/Counseling Package. Don’t miss out, sessions filling quickly. Contact Dr. Regina M. Baldwin @ 417-755-0161 to secure your spot. Free consultations.. Phone and Skype (Video) Coaching/Counseling available from the comfort of your own home anywhere in the United States or Canada.
Please leave any suggestions that may help others in the comment section.