RVNAhealth: Not feeling too festive this year?

Here is the latest column from the home health care agency RVNAhealth in Ridgefield. The column is written by RVNAhealth's President and CEO Theresa Santoro, (not pictured). This column is about feelings, and strategies for dealing with them during the holidays.

Here is the latest column from the home health care agency RVNAhealth in Ridgefield. The column is written by RVNAhealth's President and CEO Theresa Santoro, (not pictured). This column is about feelings, and strategies for dealing with them during the holidays.

RVNAhealth / Contributed photo

You’re Not Alone.

The holidays, for some, bring cheer and hope of fresh beginnings as the calendar turns; for others, they are a reminder of loss and loneliness. In 2020, we have all been affected by loss in some way: meeting across screens rather than tables, faces obstructed by masks in public, and togetherness defined by a global health crisis. Grief is not exclusive to death; and bereavement for life as we once knew is not only common now but can feel particularly overwhelming this holiday season.

The RVNAhealth teams are experts at assisting patients and their loved ones navigate the complexities of all types of loss -- health, mobility, and death. Following are a few proven strategies for coping with grief when inundated with societal messages, like those at the holidays, that one “should” be feeling celebratory:

1. Validate your feelings. Give yourself permission to feel sad or angry with recognition that feelings are not forever and that how you feel today is likely to change.

2. Vent to a trusted resource. One of the few positives of COVID-19 is the collective grief and isolation many of us are experiencing. Comfort can be found in unity.

3. Get fresh air. If safely possible, bundle up and step outside to breathe in the crisp winter air, even if only for a few deep inhales.

4. Gratitude. During the holidays this year, keep in mind what “gifts” you do have, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Gratitude is not a replacement for grief but can reside alongside and offer solace and comfort.

Feeling blue is more common this time of year than many people realize. While time often brings relief, you may also provide extra self-care this holiday season - you are certainly worth it.