Surviving Holidays - Loss and Blues

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Holiday Survival Guide Part 2: Dealing with Loss and the Holiday Blues:

Holiday Survival Guide Part 2: Dealing with Loss and the Holiday Blues John D. McKellar, PhD Consulting Psychologist, Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center , Independent Private Practice SF Bay Area

The Holidays of Light:

The Holidays of Light Channukah Christmas Kwanzaa New Year’s Diwali Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Why all these holidays…???

Changing of Light!!:

Changing of Light!! Seasonal Affective Disorder Season of contemplation, reflection, and resolutions Instinctual association of darkness with death

Holidays Re-considered:

Holidays Re-considered The holidays are a reaction to the changes in our environment They are a worldwide intervention to beat the blues!!!

Loss and the Holidays:

Loss and the Holidays The changing of the light i s an unseen hand influencing our perceptions of the holidays People are more or less susceptible to this effect Add to this memories of a lost loved one and one can see why this can be such a difficult time of year The impact is “doubled” by the experiences with the loved one that are now missed


Coping Connect, connect, connect- spend time with people you care about and with whom you can be yourself Spend some time by yourself or with others who are affected and allow yourself to experience the sadness Connect, connect, connect Confront the loss of light- get out in the middle of the day or on weekends to get your Vitamin D!


Coping If you are in the first year of grief give yourself permission to attend or pass on events But do so realizing that you may be passing on the people most likely to bring you out of your funk If laughter comes or if you find yourself having fun do not give in to the guilt


Spirituality Focus on whatever spiritual aspects of the season are part of your traditions Attend services to more deeply experience this Recall that Winter is a time where trees and plants may go dormant only to burst forth again in Spring Allow space for transformation to occur after your period of grief

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