Day #10 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

The tenth coping strategy is “Create Rituals”

Rituals large and small can help us manage the chaos of grief. Rituals of remembrance help to bring order, aid in transition and help us to understand complex feelings.

Through observing our own senses, acknowledging how we are feeling, and purposefully using the tools of ritual to safely come into the present moment with our grief, with our love, and with whatever else the moment holds, we can find ways of moving through each moment and into the next. In grief, this can be an essential practice.

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Day #9 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

The ninth coping strategy is “Make Something”

It doesn’t matter whether you think you are creative or not. You are.

When you’re living with heart-crushing grief, just figuring out how to get out of bed is a creative endeavor. I talk to people a lot about being creative in grief and how helpful it can be. When I teach workshops or do retreats, we do all sorts of creative things in our grief. And people always say, “I’m just not creative,” or “I’m not an artist,” or “I can only draw stick figures.” Stick figures can do … Read more...

Day #6. Boosting your self esteem

12 days of coping strategies

The sixth coping strategy is “make your alter ego your ally.”

Ever since I was fifteen years old, I’ve used a strategy to help me get out of the cycle of beating myself up. I didn’t realize I had been using this method for decades until after Charles died when I started writing “alter ego” posts here. It’s what I do to get myself out of the habit of self criticism.

When I was a young teen, I would join in those teen conversations about hating this body part or that. “My thighs were too fat.” “I am too tall.” I … Read more...

Day #4 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The fourth coping strategy is “Find a support system”

Human beings aren’t meant to do everything in isolation. Grief, watching a child self destruct from mental illness/addiction makes us feel helpless. Why go it alone where there are so many others suffering? There is no badge of honor by toughing it out by yourself.  Support is a step you take to help you heal. And your presence helps others, too.

What does that mean?

Support systems come in a lot of packages, an apropos description given the time of year. Your friends and family have empathy for you but you … Read more...

Day #1 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The first one is “Get some exercise.”

While I was editing that video, I felt like blowing something up. Actually, I just wanted to blow up iMovie. Other times of the year, I have a little more patience.

Karla Helbert, a grief expert, will be co-authoring many of these posts.

This is for anyone who is coping with adversity– loss of a child or other loved one to suicide or overdose, someone else’s substance use disorder,  your own mental illness, SUD, or thoughts of suicide.

So onto coping strategies

Some of you don’t want to get out of bed, … Read more...

Coming soon. Twelve days of Christmas

I’m going to have twelve days of Christmas in December. Instead of golden rings, calling birds, and turtle doves, I will highlight a coping strategy each day.

This time of year is difficult so I’m trying something different to jump start my own motivation while also inspiring yours. If any of you want to share a coping strategy that has worked for you to help me out with this exercise, make a comment below.

Let’s make this a group effort.