The holidays are a time for cheer, warm fuzzy feelings, and family. But, for people who have just lost loved ones or are dealing with their loved one’s terminal illness, the holidays can be an extremely lonely and depressing time. It’s important to know that you’re not alone and that help is available.
Here are some tips from hospice professionals to deal with grief this holiday season:
- Plan ahead — Preparation is key when it comes to dealing with the emotional overload the holidays can bring. Recognize that the holidays may look and feel a bit different for you this year, and that’s okay. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself ample breaks and quiet time, or time to exercise or do something you enjoy when your feelings start to overwhelm you.
- Get a buddy — Whether it’s a friend, family member, or member of your loved ones’ hospice team, a support buddy can go a long way. If you participate in hospice grief counseling groups, you’ll be surrounded by people going through similar situations. Try to get a few phone numbers of people who you can call when your sadness starts to overtake you. It’s important to resist the urge to isolate yourself during these times. A quick phone call, video call, or even an in-person visit can do wonders when it comes to lifting your spirits.
- Avoid additional stress — When you are grieving over the holidays, it’s not the time to try a new elaborate recipe, travel to see your stress-inducing in-laws, or agree to host 15 people at your home. Take it easy and avoid stressors at all costs. You have permission to avoid things you don’t want to do.
How Hospice and Palliative Care Can Help
Whether you’ve just lost someone or a loved one is approaching the end of a battle with a terminal illness, hospice and palliative care can help. The goal of these programs is to ensure patients have access to around-the-clock care so they can be as comfortable as possible to live out their final days. Hospice and palliative care teams are also there to help grieving family members through spiritual and emotional counseling. From grief counselors, bereavement counselors, and grief support groups, there are plenty of programs provided to help loved ones cope with their new reality. You don’t have to go at it alone. Contact us today to learn more.