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healthbriefs


Coping with Grief Over the Holidays H


oliday celebrations, traditionally memorable for their joys and happiness, can be tough emotional sledding for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Experts counsel that ac- knowledging the fact that the holidays


won’t be the same without the deceased is a first step toward being at peace with the activities unfolding around us.


Then, we need to decide what we can handle and how much responsibility we are willing to assume; this might mean letting others do the shopping or cook- ing. Getting enough rest is crucial; if we need time alone, we should honor that need.


It can help to create new traditions that include the deceased in a loving


way. We might light a candle, display a photo or revisit photo albums of good times, thus including the life of our loved one in our conversations and celebra- tions. We could even hang a stocking in the name of the beloved for family and friends to stuff with notes, thereby sharing their feelings with us. Holidays are not about “shoulds,” but about what’s comfortable and best for our family and us. If this is the first holiday without a loved one and celebrating seems impossible, we can instead celebrate winter, by engaging in a physical nature activity. Whatever we do, we can know that grieving is a necessary and healthy process and that healing is possible.


Adapted from GriefAndRenewal.com, Griefnet.org and HospiceFoundation.org.


G


TO GET MORE, GIVE MORE


iving away money or spending it on others increases the giver’s sense of personal wealth, according to research by Michael Norton, of Har- vard Business School, and co-author Elizabeth Dunn, of the University of British Columbia.


The latest in a series of studies showed that people that support oth- ers, from helping with homework to shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, feel that they had more time in general and that giving time away relieved the sense of “not having enough time,” even more than gaining unexpected free time.


natural awakenings


December 2013


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