North Central News

Take steps to alleviate grief around holidays

The winter holidays can be challenging for anyone, especially those who are grieving the loss of a loved one but Hospice of the Valley can help.

The organization will offer a free Zoom presentation, “Mindfulness Practices for Easing the Stress of the Season” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. Maribeth Gallagher, Hospice of the Valley’s Dementia Program director who is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a mindfulness instructor, will lead the presentation. Gallagher will discuss using mindfulness to manage challenges in healthy ways.

Lin Sue Cooney, community engagement director at Hospice of the Valley, said the COVID-19 pandemic “is likely to intensify feelings of loss” as families often are postponing traditional, large gatherings. Grief experts recommend people “take it easy” and abandon perfection while also asking people for help during this difficult time.

Cooney said experts recommend saying “no” to things that increase your stress. Another way to cope with feelings of loss is to make oneself a priority. Cooney suggests people decide what they really want to do this year, not what others think they ought to be doing. She recommends people get sufficient sleep, practice relaxation techniques and engage in exercise. Cooney also advises people to honor and acknowledge their loved ones who died.

Find lots of “holiday survivorship skills” in Hospice of the Valley’s free booklet, “Coping with Grief During the Holidays.” You can request a copy by emailing bhawes@hov.org. To view the Zoom presentation on Dec. 10, visit hov.zoom.us/j/92896300757 and enter meeting ID number 928-9630-0757, passcode 406925. To learn more about Hospice of the Valley, visit hov.org.

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