Monday, November 10, 2014

Coping with the Holidays: Suggested Resources 2014

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[Most recent update: Sunday, December 28, 2014]

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?  ~ Charlie Brown

A reader writes: I'm in a very bad place. Numbness is still huge. But pain is in my heart too. The holidays are weighing on my heart so heavily. It's very hard to get up every day. And very hard to get through very dark long lonely nights. Honestly the only reason I am functioning for the holidays is for my two grandsons. They are the reason I still breathe in and out each day. I look at their faces and they are the reason to keep trying. It's so hard though to put on a smile. It's so hard to breathe in and out. Do you have any special tips on coping with the holiday season?

My response: My dear, I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in your reactions, especially at this time of year, when Mother Nature challenges us with darker, colder weather and everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with reminders that “the holidays are coming!” As you say, when we are in mourning, it’s very hard to get through the dark, lonely nights, and harder still to keep hearing that "it's the most wonderful time of the year!" We barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning to face the present day, much less think about the pressures of preparing for the days ahead of us, when we feel so out of sync with the rest of the world.

You’ve asked for tips on coping with the holiday season. Be aware that many community agencies offer programs to assist the bereaved, especially at this time of year. Your local hospice, funeral home or health organization will have information about whatever special offerings and services are available to you.

This is also the time of year when the Internet abounds with all sorts of articles, books and tips that offer creative and practical ways to cope with the holidays. In my daily trips around the Web, I follow dozens of such links, taking note of the resources I hope my readers will find most useful. (You’ll find lists of links to those I’ve found in years past listed here: Coping with the Holidays: Suggested Resources and here: Coping with the Holidays: Suggested Resources 2013.)

Below are the offerings I’ve discovered for you this year. (Note that I’ll be adding to this list throughout the holiday season, so be sure to return to this post in the days and weeks ahead, to see what's new).

As always, if readers know of any other resources that should be included, please feel free to add them in the Comments section below.

Holiday Sorrows and Precious Gifts, by Thomas Attig

Simplicity, by Annette Childs, PhD

Open the Door, Welcome Joy, by Susan Casey

Coping with Grief During The Holidays, via JourneyCare

How to Fill an Empty Stocking, by Shannon Harris

The Art of Regrouping, by Litsa Williams

5 Loving Ways to Remember Someone You Have Lost This Christmas, by John D. Moore

Help for Holiday Grievers, by Mary Potter Kenyon

When It's NOT The Most Wonderful Time of The Year: Strategies for Sanity, by Ashley Davis Bush

10 Things You Can Do To Help Make This Holiday Season More Bearable, by Tom Zuba

What To Say To Your Kids When Holidays Aren't Happy, by Carey Wallace

When Christmas Hurts, via Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

9 Ways to Cope with Grief During the Holidays, by Cheryl Amari

It's The Most Difficult Time of The Year, by Maria Kubitz

5 Ways to Combat Holiday Stress, by Allegra Jordan

Surviving the Holidays, from GriefShare

Simplify--Tips to Help Grievers Reduce Holiday Stress, by Judy Brizendine

Finding Christmas and Peace After the Death of a Child, by Harriet Hodgson

5 Ways To Help Those Remembering Baby Loss During the Holiday Season, by Tara Shafer

Grief in Times of Celebration: The Empty Spot, by Glen R. Horst

5 Steps To Make Yourself Miserable During The Holidays, by Matthew James

6 Steps To Survive The Holidays, by Donna Mebane

Holiday Black and Blues, by Mark Liebenow

Grieving During The Holidays, by Pat Schwiebert, RN

5 Tips: Surviving Tradition for The Children's Sake, by Eleanor Haley

Four Words of Hope for Those Grieving During the Holidays, Booklet by James Miller

Holiday Music Out of Key: When Songs Become Sad, by Eleanor Haley

One Solstice: A Family Ritual of Love, Remembrance and Hope, by Elaine Mansfield

As The Holidays Approach: You Are the Occasion, by Lauren Solomon

Healing Through The Holidays, by Sherry Cassedy

Seven Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Grieve Through The Holidays, Booklet by James Miller

The Holidays Are Here! Don’t Panic, Just Pause! by Gincy Heins

Holiday Gift Giving Guide for Grievers, by Litsa Williams

4 Tips for Helping Mourners During the Holidays Ahead, by Larry Barber

7 Suggestions For Grieving During The Holidays, by Sameet Kumar

Rethinking Your Holiday Traditions, by Sandy Fox

Eight Tips To Help Someone Grieving During The Holidays, via eHospice 

New Perspectives on Old Traditions: Grief and The Holidays, by Eleanor Haley

A Grief Break: Dealing With Loss During The Holidays, by Linda Lauren

Grief and The Holidays, by Barbara Karnes, RN

Caregiving: Your Holiday Survival Guide, by Denise Brown

A Chemo Christmas: 24 Ways to Help Those Who Are In The Hospital At The Holidays, by Cindy Finch

20 Ways to Discuss Advance Care Planning With Your Family Over The Holiday, by Christian Sinclair

Coaxing Memories Out of The Fog of Dementia, by Bob DeMarco

How To Keep Boundaries And Maintain Cheer During the Holidays, by Dr. Jaime Kulaga

6 Essential Tips For Surviving The Holidays: Let The Games Begin! by John Tsilimparis

Is the Holiday Season Your “Blue” Season? Learn Strategies to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder, by LaKeisha Jones

Halloween and Grief – When The Nightmare Is Too Real, by Megan Devine

Re-embracing Halloween After a Loss, by Gloria Horsley

It's Halloween: Trigger Treat, by Marita Anderson

After Trick or Treating, It’s the Trick of Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, by Belleruth Naparstek

Soaring Spirits will be providing tips for coping, remembering, and honoring love throughout the holiday season ~ and starting on November 15th, sharing tips on its Facebook page and via email.

Holidays and Grieving for a Loved One: the First Thanksgiving, by Larry Lynn

10 Ways to Comfort Your Holiday Grief Without Food, by Paula Stephens

How to Withstand the Holidays: Root Yourself in Love, by Megan Devine

How You Can Help Me This Holiday Season, by Tanya Lord

Grief Tips for The Holidays, posted by Students of AMF

The Challenge of Grieving Openly, by Pat Schwiebert, RN

Your Coupon to Exchange Holidaze for Holy, Calm Days, via Kara LC Jones

When Loved Ones Aren’t Very Loving, by Judith Johnson

Learning to Manage the Pain of Grief During the Holidays, by Dave Roberts

Blending Old and New Holiday Traditions When Grieving, by Dora Carpenter

Is SAD Due to The Darkness Of Grief or The Darkness Of The Season? by Barbara Rubel

Guiding Children and Teens Through the Grieving Process, via NAGC

Book Suggestions for Getting Through the Holidays, by Sandy Fox

Book, Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories for Handling the Holidays after Loss, by Open to Hope authors

Video, Handling Death and the Holidays, Grief Relief with Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley

Teleclass, Dealing with Grief During Holidays and Anniversaries When You Have Lost An Animal Loved One with Judy Tatelbaum, MSW

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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