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How to deal when facing grief over the holidays

Facing grief over the holidays

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The holidays are a time of celebration for many, but it can also be a time of strained mental health for those dealing with grief.

Grief is complicated and unique for everyone. While accepting loss does get easier over time, we often still carry it with us forever, and we can’t just pause it during the holiday season.

Dr. Danielle Henderson, a clinical psychologist from IU Health, joined Weekend Daybreak to discuss grieving over the holidays and different coping strategies we can consider.

“I think it (boundaries) can be really important because it feels like, especially around this time of year, there are so many demands on our time. People anticipating that we’ll attend certain events, or we’re trying to get different work projects done or get the kids kind of wrapped up with their school year. So there are a lot of demands on our time, and sometimes we might lose focus on what we need,” she said.

Henderson says carrying old holiday traditions that existed can be helpful by honoring and celebrating individuals who are no longer here.

“I think it can be really important because it feels like especially, around this time of year, there are so many demands on our time. People anticipating that we’ll attend certain events, or we’re trying to get different work projects done or get the kids kind of wrapped up with their school year. So there are a lot of demands on our time, and sometimes we might lose focus on what we need,” she said.

Some coping skills a person should consider before starting holiday events are deep breathing, taking a walk, journaling, listening to music, yoga, and saying positive affirmations.

To learn more, watch the full interview above.