The Five Stages of Grief During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones. But for some, the holidays can be a time of sadness and grief. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling with infertility, the holiday season can be a difficult time. I know the pain of loss during this season, and it can be extremely difficult, especially when it seems everyone around you is happy. Here are the five stages of grief during the holidays and how to cope with them.

1. Denial: This is the stage where you try to pretend that everything is normal. You may put on a brave face and act like everything is fine, even though inside you are dying.   Many times, you fill your life with busy activities so you don't have to think about your loss. This is not sustainable and will only make you feel worse in the long run. It is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and grieve in your own way.  Find a safe person and place and express your feelings.  

2. Anger: This is the stage where you may lash out at those around you. You may be angry at God, the world, or yourself. It is important to express your anger in a healthy way, such as through journaling, talking to a therapist or another safe person, or prayer. Don't bottle up your emotions; they will only come out in negative ways.  Make sure your family knows you love them and talk about the anger you feel.  Purification is an oil that helps me let go of anger.  I apply it on my liver.

3. Bargaining: This is the stage where you try to make deals with God or the universe. You may find yourself praying or making promises in an attempt to change the situation. Unfortunately, this stage will not change anything; it is only an attempt to delay the inevitable.  Realize there are some things you can change, and there are some things you cannot change no matter what you do.  

4. Depression: This is the stage where you may feel hopeless and helpless. You may withdraw from friends and family and isolate yourself. You will not feel like doing anything at all, so support is crucial.   It is crucial to reach out for help during this stage; talking to a therapist or clergy member,  or joining a support group can be very beneficial.    Yoga is also restorative.  (I love Yoga with Adriene!).  And essential oils are known for their uplifting qualities.  Some of my favorites are Joy, Orange, and Peace & Calming.  If you are really low and need to talk with the suicide hotline, that number is 988.  They will listen, provide support, and connect you with resources in your local area if needed.

5. Acceptance: This is the final stage of grief where you accept the situation for what it is. You may still feel sad and have days where you struggle, but overall you have made peace with what has happened. This is when healing can begin.   Acceptance doesn't mean you still don't have emotional pain, but you are better able to deal with it.  Acceptance is an essential oil that helps me reset negative emotional thought patterns.

The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who are grieving loss or struggling with infertility. If you find yourself in one of these situations, know that you are not alone and that there are others who understand what you are going through. Allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels right for you, and reach out for help if you need it.
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