Holiday blues got you down? You are not alone this season
Although the holiday season is filled with good cheer, decked out halls and festive times, for many people it heralds waves of sadness and grief into their lives.
One local grief counselor who has helped hundreds of clients says December is a prime time for sadness to bubble to the surface due to a multitude of triggers.
“During the holidays we are constantly reminded of family tradition,” Nina Impala of Tutoring for the Spirit explained. “Every little thing from buying the tree, Christmas songs, that special stuffing mom used to make, smells in the kitchen and when the holiday table is set can remind us of the place where our loved one use to sit.”
Impala added that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since a loss occurred, people are still affected and can continue to suffer.
“It’s been more than two decades since I lost my mom in a horrific accident and I still find myself missing her and sad during this time of year,” Murrieta resident Beth Gomez said. “I wish she could be with us and see my children and enjoy the holidays with us.”
Impala said there are several things people grappling with the blues can do in addition to seeking out professional help.
“Spend time with people who love you unconditionally, be careful when it comes to negative distractions and treat yourself like you would a child who is sad,” she said.
Temecula-based grief counselor and hypnotherapist Paul Rieker began a ‘Grief Intervention’ event seven years ago as a way to help people speed up the healing process, especially during the holidays.
This year’s free event is being held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23 at 42145 Lyndie Lane in Temecula.
Rieker said he experienced his own personal tragedy which inspired him to start helping others.
“After my mother’s suicide in 1976, I found the holidays to be difficult for me,” Paul Rieker, clinical hypnotherapist with Bless Your Thoughts said. “So, I am happy to help others.”
Rieker said that with hypnotherapy, people can become deeply relaxed and place a “new and brilliant” emotional assignment on the past event.
“This allows forgiveness, joy and moving forward from the past hurt,” Rieker added.
People who are not dealing with personal grief may be coping with someone who is depressed and in pain. This too can be difficult and many times people aren’t sure how to interact or comfort a hurting loved one.
Impala said: “It is important to know that just about everywhere people are grieving. Be compassionate, listen more and say less.”
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.