For Many, Christmas Brings Up Memories of Lost Loved Ones

During the Christmas season, many are reminded of the loss of a loved one, causing them to be sad around the holidays. One way to shake the blues is by spending time with others or volunteering your time. News 25 spoke with Gulf Coast Mental Health Group and has some tips for those with the holiday blues.

During the Christmas season, many are reminded of losses that have occurred in their lives, whether it is a spouse, family member, friend, or even a pet. The holidays can be cruel reminder of the precious times they used to share. Jeff Bennett, Director of Gulf Coast Mental Health Group, says, "The rituals you engaged in are gone, you’re alone and at a loss of what to do, even give up on decorating because it’s too sad and it reminds you of the loved one that you lost."

If you find yourself with the holiday blues, one way Bennett suggests to lighten your mood is by giving, since it is the season of giving after all, or by volunteering your time to a good cause. Bennett also says, "Have a sense of doing something for somebody else, which makes you feel good. Also, you meet other volunteers who may have suffered the same things you have and you talk and share your experiences. That’s of great value."

If things are completely unbearable, Bennett suggests getting away for the holidays and forgetting the season all together. Bennett says, "Don’t deal with Christmas. Take a cruise to the islands where everything is different and you can put some of those things behind you. Now you say that’s kind of self-indulgent. Well, Christmas is also a time of self-indulgence, so those kinds of things works for folks."

If you can’t afford an expensive trip, there are other options. Socialize, go to holiday parties, or find a community support group. Remember, the holidays are about celebrating those you love and according to Bennett, the person who should top your list is you.

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