Living in Florida we do not experience the change of seasons. We do not have the visual of the leaves changing colors to remind us that the holiday season is approaching.  We have the sun, the warm weather and the beach. But regardless of where you live, the season of Fall is the start of the holiday season. The holidays are a time of excitement for many but for some it is a time of dread and unhappiness. After a loss, whether it is a loss of a loved one or a loss of a marriage/relationship, the holidays might be a time of stress, sadness and loneliness.

Tips for Coping During this Upcoming Holiday Season

  • Make realistic expectations for the holiday season. You probably will feel many mixed emotions. Recognize that and don’t try to do too much. Think about what you want to do. Say yes to an invitation if you want to go and no if you don’t feel like doing it. If you decide to say no, do it without feeling guilty.
  • Start some new holiday traditions. You can start by buying some new decorations, finding some new recipes and seeking out some community activities that you have been wanting to experience.
  • Take a vacation during the holidays. Getting away with family, friends or by yourself might be an option for you during the holiday season. Planning the getaway can give you something to look forward to during this stressful time of year.
  • Volunteer at a local community center, church or temple. Giving back and helping others can be very rewarding. It might give you a tremendous sense of fulfillment.
  • Physical activity might help. You can try taking a walk, going on a bike ride or going to the gym. Exercise benefits the mind and the body.
  • Focus on the positives. Honor your memories and try to make new ones with the people in your life. Try to focus on what you have by surrounding yourself with your loved ones.
  • Manage your time and make time for yourself. Accept invitations if you want to but make sure you leave some time to pamper yourself. Plan some time to do the things you like, for example: getting your nails done, reading a book, going fishing, etc. Do something that will put a smile on your face.
  • Accept that you might experience some feelings of sadness or loneliness. You are going through a difficult time. It is a time of transition.
  • If you feel that you need it, seek professional help. A trained professional can be a big source of support during this time. There are many benefits that you will find by talking to someone that is trained in ways of helping you cope.

If you or someone you know needs help coping with the holidays because of a divorce, separation, or is grieving, contact me. One of my specialties is helping people cope during transitional times in their life.

Additionally, along with a colleague Susan Block, LMFT, we are running a seasonal support group to help get you through the holidays. This group will provide you with support from two licensed therapists as well as meeting others who are going through similar emotions. The group begins on November 18th, 2015. If you are interested, contact mefor more details.

[Registration for the above support group is no longer open.]

Your Relationship Expert,