Dealing With Loss During the Winter
Clients will come to me with different needs, but they are all experiencing a range of emotions that threaten to derail their happiness. They feel out of balance and unsure how to resolve their strong feelings. Some clients are navigating the waters of marriage and divorce; others have been through their own personal trauma. Unfortunately, we don't have control over when life's challenges confront us, especially the timing of dealing with loss. During this winter season, Mary is here to help prospective clients in need of therapy who wish to get through a difficult time, whatever that may be. In this post, we share insights into dealing with feelings of loss and grief at this time of the year:
There are two aspects of the winter season that make it particularly challenging for people who have suffered the loss of a loved one or a close friend.
Cold Weather Brings Us Indoors
In the winter, the colder weather in most locales tends to keep people indoors more often, and the bleak, gray skies may cause them to feel more depressed. They would be in better spirits if they could be outdoors and more active. They would also have greater opportunities to socialize without worrying about getting stuck in bad weather on the way home.
The Winter Brings Holidays
The other aspect of the winter season is that it brings with it a seemingly endless supply of holidays. Although the holidays are a chance for many to spend time with people they haven't seen all year, people who experience loss and grief often have difficulty. There are many reminders of what they have lost because their loved one is no longer there to share in their traditions. It's important to surround yourself with other close friends or relatives so you won't feel alone over the holidays. You don't want to give yourself too much time to ruminate over what you cannot control or change.
Moving Through the Stages of Grief
While your loss may be fresh or months or years in the past, the intensity of emotions can feel very personal. You may experience various physical effects of loss or grief, including prolonged sadness or crying, difficulty falling asleep and/or sleeping through the night, nightmares, a lack of appetite, depression, disinterest in preferred activities (apathy), and anxiety. Mary can help clients work through the five stages of grief. We have summed them up below based on a post from WebMD:
- Denial. Your mind wants to deny that the death of a loved one has happened. By not acknowledging the loss, your mind can block the emotions that naturally follow.
- Anger. The loss was beyond your control. You move quickly from emotions such as frustration and powerlessness to anger. You don't want to feel these strong emotions, and you wish you could take back what happened. Death is permanent.
- Bargaining. This is when you mull over what happened and move through different scenarios in your mind regarding how life would have been different if the death had not occurred.
- Depression. You face bouts of crying and sadness. They can strike at any time, even making it hard to get up for work or take care of your loved one who needs your attention.
- Acceptance. You're able to accept that the death is irrevocable. You can begin to reshape your life without your special person, even though the sadness will continue for some time. It's a dull ache that fades when you least expect it.
You don't have to progress through the stages of grief alone. Mary can teach you strategies for staying cheerful and healthy during the winter season, even though there are many challenges to face. In therapy, you will address your thoughts and emotions related to the loss. Please contact me for more information about individual or couples therapy today.