Grief Loss and the Upcoming Holiday Season, Strategies for Getting Your ARMS Around It Early

WSN-MO: A Few Minutes with Terrell Whitener

For my offering this week, I have chosen an article out of my archives to share with the brotherhood. I hope you enjoy and, most importantly, consider integrating this into your approach to the season ahead.

Before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. For individuals that are in a season of grief, the holidays can be the most challenging time of year. It may be even more difficult for those experiencing this season for the first time without a loved one. In this article, I would like to offer a few thoughts that you may consider to navigate this most uncertain time. I refer to it as taking the ARMS approach to surviving the holidays during the season of grief.

A: Acknowledge Your Feelings. Though this may seem obvious, we must realize that grasping a solid hold of this cognitive realization is paramount to your self-care. A successful approach must respect that your personal and genuine feelings will allow for the most palatable experience through this most difficult time. It is normal to feel the need to be strong for others, and it is your right to feel the need to “hold it together” for others. But the day is 24 hours long, and there will be plenty of private time to sort through your actual state of mind.

R: Remember the Good Times. As part of the periods of reflection, always remember to add in memories of the good times. The arguments over the Christmas tree, the heavy-handed pouring of the liquor that “was just to add a little flavor” to the recipe at Thanksgiving, can go a long way at times like these.

M: Make at Least One New Memory. One of the most challenging endeavors to undertake is to introduce some measure of change. Though difficult to do, I highly recommend adding one new activity or memory to this season. It could be as simple as inviting friends for dessert or drinks after the family Christmas meal. Or preparing dinner for friends who may not have a family to join them in celebrating the holidays. Though the initial thought may seem daunting, you may find that it may help you navigate this time a bit easier.

S: Save a Place for Sadness. It would be foolhardy to think that honest reflection will not include times of sadness. To those experiencing their first season after losing a loved one, becoming sad is entirely normal. Finding a place for sorrow is a responsible and honest emotion to manifest. It is an exercise that will make this time bearable.

So, there we are—strategies for Getting Your ARMS Around it Early. I wish you nothing but the best in navigating the upcoming holiday season.

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Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. You can reach Terrell at his newly redesigned website thedebriefgroup365.com. There you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network.

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