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Dealing with Grief as the Holidays Near

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

It is a very real issue this time of the year. With the holidays approaching, the battle with grief can ramp up for some people.

Grief is defined as a deep sorrow and is often associated with another person’s death, but there are many more triggers for this persistent and heavy feeling of remorse and sorrow. And as I was thinking on this, something new came to me.

Temperatures are colder, so normally people are spending more time inside and less time outside enjoying nature. The pace slows down. And we take time often to reset.

And while these are all positive aspects, the activities that kept us busy during the spring and summer months are no longer available to dilute our focus and distract our minds with good or needful deeds.

Have you ever heard of the glass analogy?  When some people look at a glass filled halfway with water, they either see it as half full or half empty. Those with the half empty sort of view are the ones I want to speak to.

While we can refresh our real glasses with real water at any time, in life, what’s lost often cannot be replaced, and if it can, it’s replaced by something that will be a little different. And whether we suffered loss through our own mistakes or that of another, it often doesn’t make us feel any better about it.

Glass half-empty people marinate on what’s gone, not seeing that space has now opened for something new and possibly even better.

Another challenge is when you sit alone. Glass half-empty type people can be left with negative thoughts of failures, losses and lack, rather than embracing the slower pace to enjoy life at a different speed. Or, to learn the lessons that were presented in the challenge or failure. Grief comes bearing down when we dwell in that negative thought arena too long and when we stay by ourselves.

If that is you, I encourage you get up today!

Dress accordingly and add some activity and errands on your radar outside the home. Keep up exercise routines – even if you have to work out with the assistance of online tools (have you seen the abundance of workouts on YouTube?

And, perhaps most importantly, stay connected to friends and family and be truthful when they ask if you need help. You were not created to do life alone.  And, you are not expected to live a life without mistakes. Just know that someone is watching you and depending on you to stay healthy and sound mind and body.

Grief is heavy and can have devastating consequences if left unchecked. Remember, if you think you’re struggling with grief, reach out to a trusted healthcare provider for help sooner rather than later.

As always, I’m cheering for you and just an email away if you need to chat.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.