Article submitted to OnRichmondHill.com by Eleanor Silverberg
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it many situational losses including loss of health, jobs, finances, and death. Grief is a reaction to any kind of significant loss including the losses related to this unprecedented holiday season. Assess for yourself - are you impacted by the loss related to the restrictions brought on this holiday season, being unable to gather and celebrate the familiar, joyful annual traditions? You may be feeling a number of grief emotions such as sadness, disappointment, anger and fear. There are different models that assist in grief processing such as the task model for resolving grief.
Following are tasks for you to acknowledge and assess that may assist you in working through the holiday-related losses, uplift the blues and assist you to make the most of this holiday season 2020.:
Acceptance: Although distressing, the task of accepting reality may assist you in bringing holiday cheer despite the circumstances. Are you thinking that if you can not experience the holidays the way you are used to then you do not want to experience the holidays at all? Are you brooding that, due to the physical distancing required, you cannot host that family dinner this year or that you cannot go over to your family member's home for a holiday visit? How is that working for you? Conflict with reality, fighting it can lead to a negative spiral and where is the holiday cheer then?
Experience the Feelings: It is understandable that there are going to be negative feelings such as sadness, resent, and distress due to this holiday loss. It is more positive to acknowledge and assess what you are feeling, expressing rather than suppressing. You may choose to share your feelings with someone close or through journaling. Denying your feelings may not work well for you in making the best of the holidays. You will be of better assistance to yourself by being true to yourself.
Adjust and Adapt: Being open to change will allow you to take on the task of adjusting and adapting. Although difficult, the pandemic offers opportunities to make this holiday a season to remember in new and different ways. You may want to start planning a creative new way of celebrating during this "New Normal". Fortunately, technology allows for online gatherings for meals and virtual walks. You can assist by acknowledging and assessing what is accessible in order to enjoy the holidays. Gratitude is always a good go-to for uplifting spirits. What are you grateful for?
Going through the tasks may leave you in a state of mind that faces reality, allows your feelings and is open to creating a new holiday tradition, making the most of the holidays, making sure it includes joy and cheer.
Eleanor Silverberg, BA Psych, MSW, RSW
Assisting so you can Self Monitor with Self Awareness!