Seniors Outreach - December 23, 2015

Christmas season can be a difficult time when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one. So much celebrating and cheer at a time when you feel anything but happy. Here are a few tips to help deal with loss at this time of year.
• It's okay to be upset. Grief can be magnified during the holidays when all the world seems to be jolly and upbeat. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of sadness and anger, they are part of the grieving process.
• Take it one year at a time. The first Christmas after the loss of a loved one can be especially painful & its completely normal if you can't face traditions such as cooking a huge meal or gifts and cards. It doesn't mean it has to be forever, maybe next year will feel different.
• Talk about your loss. By avoiding talk of your deceased loved one will only make it worse, not better. Share memories and tears, relive stories and photos of past holidays. Ideas such as lighting a candle or proposing a toast can honour the loved one. Do what makes you feel better.
• Handling invitations. Ask if you can RSVP the day of the event as it is hard to know how you will feel that day. If you decide to go but are feeling uneasy, try the 20-minute rule. Stay for 20 minutes and if you're having a good time, stay. If you're not, give yourself permission to leave. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying.
• It's okay to accept help. We all like to feel in control of our world and it can be tough to accept offers of help. Grieving is exhausting. It's not a sign of weakness to accept help and many friends and family want to lend a hand.
• Don't feel guilty if you are having a good time, this is not dishonouring your loved one's memory.
• Help others. At times focusing on the needs of others by volunteering at a food bank, local senior's centre or animal shelter can help to make new memories. Giving to others can become a way to honour the person you have lost.
Seniors Outreach is always willing to lend an ear and help anyway we can. All the best to everyone during the Christmas Season and Happiest of New Years!