As we approach another Thanksgiving holiday, it’s time to shift our focus on family, gratitude, and thankfulness.
This is the time of year that most of us pause to count our blessings. While this is the right thing to do and the season for it, it can be quite difficult for someone battling a season of grief and depression.

I’ve spent a great deal of this year in tears and battling pessimistic thoughts. While I have many things to be grateful for, depression and grief have made me focus more on what I don’t have, what has been lost, and the huge hole that’s been left in my heart this year from miscarriage and the loss of a dear pet. Grief affects everyone differently. In some cases, it can last for a very long time. The holidays can be an especially tough time when you are missing a loved one, a beloved pet, or a baby that never made it to your arms.

How can you survive grief and sadness, during the holiday season, and get back to a place of thankfulness?

1-Surround yourself with children-There is something very healing about the laughter of children and looking at the world through their eyes. Recently, my cousin’s children, ages 4 and 6 years old, stopped by on their way to visit family. Just running around the yard with them for fifteen minutes warmed my heart.  For a moment, I forgot all about the sadness that I had been experiencing a few days earlier about not having children of my own.  Being around children restores my hope that someday I will be blessed with my own.

2-Spend time with family-Being around family and those that know you best can help lift your spirits. Your family knows when you are hurting and hopefully will know how to best comfort you over the holidays.

3-Talk to God-Pour your heart out in prayer.  No one understands your pain more than the heavenly father.  Talk to him and watch your burdens lighten and positive changes will happen within your soul.

4-Help others-Nothing makes the heart more grateful than lending a hand to someone in need.  The visual representation of seeing others in tough situations creates a grateful spirit inside.  It allows you to see just how truly blessed you are in many ways. 

5-Start at the basics-Be thankful for the necessities.  Start with the little things and make a list of your blessings.  Do you have food, shelter, clothing, and the basics?  Now, work your way up from here and you’ll see just how grateful you should be.

6-Write a list of accomplishments-What have you gotten done this year?  This is the time to toot your own horn a little. Write it down, no matter how big or small the accomplishment.

While these tips are not a cure for depression and grief, I hope that at least one will resonate with you and make this holiday season a little less painful. I sincerely wish healing to anyone struggling with loss this holiday season.

© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2017.

Do you have a tip that has helped you through a tough holiday season?  Please share it in the comments below.