It is the holiday season. While this is a great time of the year for celebration, it can be one of the most difficult times for those who are experiencing grief and loss. Everyone deals with grief differently. However, most people go through the standard stages of grief at some point. Everyone has a different timeline, and those stages might look different from person to person.
Sometimes grief can feel overwhelming. Between moments of denial and anger, you might find yourself dealing with extreme depression, or even anxiety.
It’s easy to feel like your world is caving in when you’ve lost someone close to you, and that can lead to trying a variety of coping mechanisms – even subconsciously.
Some people cope with overwhelming sorrow by withdrawing themselves from the people they love and the things they enjoy.
While you might want to be alone right now, it could actually be doing more harm than good. Let’s take a closer look at why withdrawal isn’t the answer and cover some healthier ways to cope with grief.
Isolation Makes Things Worse
It’s understandable to want to shut out the world when you’re dealing with grief. You might feel like no one could possibly understand what you’re going through. Or you might be in so much emotional turmoil that the idea of facing anyone only adds to your stress.
Unfortunately, isolating yourself often makes things much worse. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and prolonged isolation can even start to affect your physical health.
Plus, when you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s easy for them to start to wander. That’s especially true as anxiety creeps in and creates intrusive thoughts. It’s easier to start thinking about things that aren’t necessarily based in reality, or worrying about issues that likely won’t happen.
As you might expect, that creates a sort of vicious cycle. The more anxious and depressed you become, the more you’ll want to hide away from the world. It can start to impact your sleeping and eating habits, and take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being.
The Benefit of Being Around Others
Human beings are social creatures. We need companionship to thrive.
While you might not feel like being around other people when you’re grieving, it can be a huge help as you work through the stages and try to find some peace again.
You don’t have to talk about anything in particular, and you don’t have to spend hours around people every day. However, finding small ways to connect can make a big difference. Reach out to the people you love. Many of them may be dealing with their own grief if they lost a mutual friend or family member. Sometimes, simply being around another person who has an idea of what you’re going through can be a source of comfort.
Over time, you might be more comfortable opening up about your grief with people. It’s never going to be easy to talk about, but getting those feelings off of your chest will help you move forward. You’ll understand that you don’t have to carry the weight of your grief on your own.
Reach Out For Help
It’s just as important not to withdraw from activities or the people you love. The person you lost wouldn’t want you to give up your life for an existence filled with sorrow.
Don’t be afraid to jump into your hobbies when you can. Or, consider trying something new that interests you. Doing things you enjoy can serve as a welcomed distraction, and it can give you a sense of purpose and meaning when life otherwise feels bleak.
If you’re struggling with grief and you’re not sure you can open up to others in your life, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Talking to a therapist can be a healthy, effective way to connect, and a therapist can help you work through your stages of grief on a timeline that works for you.
Don’t push down your emotions or simply go through the motions of the holidays. Be honest with yourself about your grieving, and talk with a therapist to unpack your triggers. The more straightforward you are, the more therapy will help. Remember, even with a loss, you deserve to find happiness — especially around the holidays.
Begin Grief and Loss Counseling in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Online in Arizona.
If you would like to learn how grief counseling can help you during the holiday season please reach out. Our team of therapists would be honored to support you in coping with triggers. We are happy to offer services from our Phoenix, AZ-based practice and across the state. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Grief and Loss Therapy with Crossroads Counseling
Our offices are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, Scottsdale. and online/virtually in Arizona. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation to answer your questions and better understand how we can help you.