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Hope for the Holidays

6 Tips on Growing Through the Holidays

by Marie Slayton

The holidays are a difficult time--which is understood by many. Negotiating the holiday season while in the middle of a grief walk is another challenge all together. At this point in your process, regardless of how long you have been grieving, stop and take care of yourself. We need to take care of ourselves everyday, but the necessity is ten-fold during the holidays! Consider these six tips for making it through the holidays, while learning and growing with grace while you do!

1) Find someone who understands.

Being able to discuss the issues you face when grieving is one of the most important tools you can have. Considering that holidays are always a strange time presents you with a situation that NEEDS to be discussed. Many people understand losing someone; they can sympathize. The great gift of healing this holiday season might be finding someone to empathize, someone who has been there, who knows, almost with out you saying it, how you are feeling. At BeyondIndigo.com, we have Buddy Chats, story sharing, and message centers. Find someone!

2) Give yourself the space and time to heal and grieve!

Holidays are the busiest time of the year. In the middle of all the chaos, with relatives or office parties and the work crunch of attempting to catch up before the holiday sets in, find a time for yourself. Start with 10 minutes a day, maybe in the morning, before you do anything else. Spend those 10 minutes doing what you like and doing what makes you feel better. Once I had a friend who gave herself some "me" time by watching a little bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She refused to be interrupted. When you are comfortable with giving yourself the 10 minutes, give yourself a half an hour. In that time allow yourself the permission to break down. There is hope in letting go. Holidays and grieving require a great deal of strength, but giving in to the grief is not a sign of weakness. Tell yourself you get this time to "fall apart" should you need or want to. If you do it will help you so that you will not feel deprived or like you are forcing anything.

3) Accept that things are different this year.

Change is not all that easy, regardless of how good it is. Spending a holiday without a loved one is as unwelcome a change as anything could be. However, this is a perfect time to accept things as they are. Perhaps the traditions are changing this year, or you are moving on in your grief journey. Perhaps there are people missing this season. Accept that these changes have happened. While recognizing that you are still grieving or sad, know that you can move on, that grace is still with you. Challenge yourself to mark this season with acceptance.