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Ten Tips for Coping with Grief and Loss During the Holidays
Date:11/20/2008

PROVIDED BY SAN DIEGO HOSPICE AND THE INSTITUTE FOR PALLIATIVE MEDICINE

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

WHAT:

San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine offers the following tips for coping with grief and loss during the upcoming holiday season:

1. Take care of yourself

You are of little value to your family and friends if you are not well rested and taking care of yourself first and foremost.

2. Find a way to acknowledge the person you have lost

Rather than avoiding the feelings, find a way to remember and acknowledge the person that is meaningful and positive.

3. Incorporate memories or stories about the person into your family

traditions

Remember your friend or family member's role in holiday traditions and share those memories.

4. Find new traditions that honor those who are no longer here

Consider incorporating a new tradition such as a special decoration or moment of reflection in memory of the person who has died.

5. Plan ahead

Think ahead about what events will be especially emotional for you this holiday season and evaluate what will best ease that pain whether it be surrounding yourself with family or excusing yourself for a private moment.

6. Take one day at a time

Focus on today and the experience at hand.

7. Don't be afraid to make changes

Sometimes old traditions or routines can be too painful without important people present. Try something new this holiday season. Consider going somewhere different or changing your traditional holiday menu.

8. Do what you can

Do only what is special and meaningful to you this year. Be brave

enough to say no, and be realistic enough to cancel plans when

you change your mind.

9. Ask for help

Ask for and accept offers of concrete assistance with holiday

chores like decorating, shopping, cooking or cleaning. Look for

ways to involve other people in your holiday planning.

10.Speak to someone outside the family,

Organizations like the Center for Grief Care and Education at San Diego Hospice are ready to be of assistance: (619) 278-6480 or griefinfo@sdhospice.org.

WHY:

The holidays, normally a festive time, can be filled with anxiety and feelings of despair for those who are grieving a loss of a loved one. In addition to bereavement support groups, newsletters and counseling offered, the organization is hosting the free "Coping with the Holidays" Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. The workshop offers practical ideas and coping strategies for those grieving the loss of a loved one during the holiday season. Call 619-278-6480 for more info.

WHO:

Clinicians on staff are available for interviews regarding this topic. Contact: Melissa DelaCalzada, 619-278-6139 or mdelacalzada@sdhospice.org to schedule an interview.

About San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine

San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine (www.sdhospice.org), a leader in the relief of suffering, is one of the 10 largest community-owned, not-for-profit hospices in the country, with the largest resource in the world for training palliative medicine physicians and other specialists. The organization brings compassionate, expert medical care to more than 1,000 seriously ill adults and children each day throughout San Diego County. In addition, The Center for Grief Care and Education at San Diego Hospice assists more than 11,000 individuals, experiencing grief and loss, with support, counseling and guidance each year. More information is available online at www.sdhospice.org or call toll-free at 1-866-688-1600.


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SOURCE SAN DIEGO HOSPICE AND THE INSTITUTE FOR PALLIATIVE MEDICINE
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