Day #12 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

Day 12 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The twelfth coping strategy is “Something Nice for Someone Else”

For many people in grief, doing acts of kindness, volunteering, doing something to bring comfort, a smile, or some love to another person is a way that we can find a bit of peace within our own pain.

Research ...  read more

Day #11 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The eleventh coping strategy is “Sleep”

Anxiety, depression and grief can make finding sleep a challenge. Most of the coping strategies that we have posted thus far will help with sleep but if you are in the early days of grief, it’s crucial because a day in early grief with no sleep is ...  read more

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 ...  read more

Day #8 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

This one is easy but difficult for some to do. Talking about your loved one helps heal.

The eighth coping strategy is “talk.”

Many of you have realized that other people will completely ignore you and wish you’d just stop talking about your dead or suffering child. But this is my argument ...  read more

Day #3 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

by Karla Helbert

The third coping strategy is “Make a Plan”

For those of us in grief, the holidays are most definitely not the most wonderful time of the year. No matter how long it has been since your beloved died.

It has been nearly 13 years since my son, Theo, died of a brain tumor when he was ...  read more

Life is not a sugar-coated fairy tale

At some point, you will have adversity in your life. Death, divorce, illness, tragedy, natural disaster, accidents, loss of a job or something.

How will you cope? What are unhealthy coping strategies? What are healthy coping strategies?

We all self medicate at some point. If not with drugs or alcohol, with ice cream and snack foods. The trouble is with that approach is that we don’t solve anything. We just delay the solution or the healing process. And in so doing, we gain weight, develop problems with drugs or alcohol, and otherwise end up with more issues than we started with.

We make a bigger mess by trying the quick fix. And that takes a really long time to solve. Avoidance makes a problem that much more agonizing. It makes it last forever!

Shit is going to happen in your life. Think about what might work for you. Exercise, meditation, reading, writing, talking, group therapy, listing what we are grateful for, giving back and helping others are all strategies that have a track record for working. Pick one! Think of something else that would replace that which is the unhealthy strategy. Get into something you like such as traveling or camping.

Binging, cutting, purging, drugging, drinking, overeating, gambling just makes you feel sorry the next day.

What I find is that people simply don’t know there is a difference between self-destructive habits and healthy ones. It’s easier to take a pill every night than do 8 minutes of meditation.

If you are attracted to the “feel good”  moment of eating all the brownies, stop yourself and ask, “How long does the good feeling last compared to the days of guilt for having consumed all that chocolate?” Step away, pause, think. Remember when you did that once?

When my son died by suicide, I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. Then I wrote a book. I have over 900 posts here to prove it and I can look back and see healing. Do I hurt still? You bet. I can’t fix what happened. And there is no way to put lipstick on that horror show.

But I can manage it better. It took time to figure out what works for me but it’s been worth it.

Here’s the thing, you can’t heal if you can’t feel. And if you don’t develop healthy coping skills, you’ll always struggle with managing life’s difficulties. What helps you?

Start the day with what you are grateful for