Santa Barbara, CA – It is the time of year for pink and red balloons, heart-shaped candies and chocolates, stuffed animals, and bouquets of roses. It is a day meant to celebrate loving someone and being loved. However, for those grieving a lost loved one, holidays such as Valentine’s Day may bring up difficult emotions and memories of a romantic partner who has passed away.
Whether it is the first Valentine’s Day without your loved one, or several years without them, it is natural to miss them during this holiday. A variety of emotions may surface and that is okay. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, lost, confused, angry, guilty, and sad.
Hospice of Santa Barbara understands navigating a holiday centered on love and unity can be especially difficult for those who are grieving. The following tips can help you cope with the loss of your special someone.
Journaling is a great tool for exploring complex emotions. Writing in a journal can relieve anxiety and help process thoughts and feelings. Benefits of journaling include reduced stress, increase in problem-solving abilities, and improved sleep. Journaling can provide therapeutic value through the expression of thoughts and emotions, freely and honestly.
Practicing self-care and engaging in activities that bring comfort and joy is important during this challenging time. Order takeout from your favorite restaurant, spend time with a friend or family member, or go for a nice stroll around the neighborhood. Remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself. Healing takes time.
Connecting with others
Reaching out to family, friends or a support group can be beneficial. You can reminisce about fond memories or share photos of your special someone. It may also be helpful to connect with others who are also grieving or understand your situation. Local support groups, such as your local hospice, can provide helpful resources on bereavement.
Honoring your beloved
Finding a way to honor your loved one is a great way to channel positive energy during a difficult time. A good starting point is to ask, “How would my loved one like to be remembered?” You can volunteer at their favorite charity, donate to a local organization, or plant a tree in their memory. Remember that it’s okay to do things differently this year, and it’s okay to not celebrate if it feels too hard.
Tips for friends and family to support grieving partners and spouses on Valentine’s Day:
- Respect their wishes and be understanding if they choose not to celebrate.
- Offer your support and let them know they are not alone.
- Consider doing something special to remember their loved one, such as lighting a candle or making a donation in their memory.
Remember that grieving is a personal and individual process, and what works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing is to be kind and understanding to those who are grieving, and to offer love and support during this difficult time.
Hospice of Santa Barbara
Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness. Hospice of Santa Barbara provides counseling in our offices and on thirteen local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.
Sources: How to Survive Valentine’s Day Grief, Verywell Health; 7 Tips For Coping With Grief And Valentine’s Day, Mindfulness & Grief Institute
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