The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration with family and friends, but for a lot of people they are a very emotional time. It is a time of year that many find very difficult to get through—either because they have lost someone they loved, or because they are chronically ill. The season with social gatherings, gift giving, and traditions can trigger depression, loneliness, and grief, due to either missing a loved one… or missing the way things used to be.
For myself, although I have fibro life in balance (knock on wood), this will be the first year without my father. It’s been a hard year as it is, but the holidays are a trigger for memories. When loss is new the emptiness is sometimes too much. For my mother, who also has fibro, and any woman going through difficult emotions or fibro flares this is definitely a time for when self-advocacy is called for.
Here are several steps to take as the holidays approach:
Focus on the Moment
If you are feeling off balance any time during the holiday or during social gatherings try to intentionally focus on the moment at hand. Look around and purposefully notice the things around the room, the lace design of the tablecloth, the light in the room, the décor on the table, the number of chairs, and on and on. If you direct your attention specifically it may help divert the negative feeling long enough for you to regain balance.
Don’t try to get through the tough holidays by yourself. Realizing when you may need help and making a plan to ask for that help is called self-advocacy. Often women will struggle with loss and pain alone rather than ask for help. Understand that you are worthy of having help. It is human to have tough times throughout life. Having others that care about you, help you through the holidays, can be a great comfort to you.
Hearts & Gentle Hugs,
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