How to Cope with Grief and Loss During the Holiday Season -- While the Whole World is Celebrating

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This year there are scores of people facing the holidays with sadness as they face grief and loss. Cheryl Perlitz, author, speaker, and life change/survival expert shares useful tips and amusing hints to help people cope with grief during this emotionally charged season.

*Over 50% of marriages end in divorce.

*Unexpected natural disasters have left scores of people homeless and jobless

*Last year there were 8.7 deaths per 1000 people

*16% of the population relocates every year, leaving many feeling alone

*Rising energy costs and job loss leaves many with financial concerns

Add divorces, deaths, and relocation to health issues, victims of natural disasters, social pressures, work related stress and financial crises, and you have a lot of people who are dealing with major change and emotional crisis...especially now!

The holidays are approaching and for all of those people the holidays are not a time for joy and celebration, but a time of deep sorrow. For those who are coping with grief and loss, the holiday season is especially paralyzing and painful.

During the holidays the media is constantly bombarding us with reminders of youth, family and tradition. The sights and sounds of the season are a grim reminder that your life has changed and will never be the same.

Cheryl Perlitz is a mountain climber, survival expert and author of "Soaring Through Setbacks…Rise Above Adversity and Reclaim your Life." She lost her husband, and both parents, her house, her beloved dogs, her cars, and her business. She was robbed, sued, audited by the IRS and then had a stranger die sitting next to her in the movie theater -- All of this in a 4 month period.

Cheryl shares a unique perspective on “How to survive the holidays if you are hurting.”

Take care of yourself

*Pamper yourself. Get a massage, take a hot bath with smelly stuff and candles)

*Give yourself a small gift. “sleep with Robert Redford” (a cute 20 second story)

*Get up and out. Go out for breakfast and have someone wait on you for a change)

*Take care of yourself physically. Exercise and do laps around the house, get enough sleep, eat right). Increased production of endorphins creates positive attitude and eliminates stress.

Simplify

*Say no to extra things. You don’t have to do it all….decorating…buying for everyone…baking cookies for neighbors..writing Christmas cards)..just say no!

*Do grab bag gifts. Instead of buying long lists of gifts -- do a family grab bag gift so you only shop for 1 person

*Eliminate negative people. “Put your horrible relatives in their place” (a cute 20 second story)

Do things you’ve always wanted to do – but didn’t

*Test drive a fun car. “Test drive a beetle” (a cute 20 second story)

*Try a new hobby. Buy cheap watercolor paints and big paper even if you think you have no talent – or get a paint by numbers children’s set

*Sit at a coffee shop and read a book. Make sure it’s a light one, with short stories / segments.

Surround yourself with lots of color, great smells and positive things

*Surround yourself lots of color. “The cheap flowers happiness trick” (a cute 15 second story)

*Buy a pet. Even a gold fish is ok… they don’t talk back or require walking and they are alive

*Bond with a puppy or kitty. Walk your neighbor’s puppy through the forest preserve or have a kitten or puppy over to ‘play’. Hug it lots.

Surround yourself with life, people and activity

*Connect with your treasured friends. Be honest with them and tell them that you need emotional support especially during the holidays.

*Reconnect. Call some old high school friends or family you haven’t seen in many years. They will be thrilled to hear from you.

*Get a full supply of hugs. ‘Hugs are needed for emotional health (cute 10 second story)

Honor the people who are missing from our lives during the holidays

*Make a list of funny memories. “A cute picker-upper for the family who is hurting’ (15 second story)

*Share family pictures. Get out the old pictures and have everyone share their favorite, and tell why they picked it – emphasize positive and fun pictures

*Reconnect with their old friends and reminisce.

Change traditions but keep some things the same

*Change the time you go to religious services if you can. Also try changing who you go with, what you do afterwards, etc.

*Have a holiday open house. Invite friends over but have them all bring some of the food. Keep it simple -- it’s all about doing something different.

*Go to a movie after holiday dinner.

Give to others

Giving to others warms your heart, puts your life in perspective and takes the focus away from your own feelings.

*Do random acts of kindness. “The best way to make yourself feel good… your whole family too’ (a cute 15 second story)

*Visit and volunteer. Go to a soup kitchen, children’s hospital, or with a church group to distribute food.

*Give a gift or money to someone in need. Give in someone else’s name to honor them, or give in your family name. It doesn’t have to be much.

Cheryl Perlitz is the author of the inspirational book "Soaring Through Setbacks -- Rise above adversity -- Reclaim your life" and the upcoming “Soaring through Setbacks….Survival Tips Handbook’ As a dynamic speaker and facilitator, her inspiring, fun and motivational stories help listeners and readers to "transform their mountains into opportunities for adventure and positive change."

Cheryl is not a therapist, or medical doctor. She does not have a PHD or an advanced degree in psychological theory. She is a regular person, like most of us. She is a sought after talk show guest because of her easy casual style, her ability to tell wonderful stories that the listeners and readers can relate to, and her understanding and compassion for others.

If you would like to hear more about this topic, and/or more detailed SURVIVAL TIPS for surviving the holidays contact Cheryl Perlitz: cheryl@SoarWithMe.com

To book an interview call:

847-510-5919 cell 847-609-8032

Cheryl is available for last minute interviews

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