October: The Break-Up Season

By

October: The Break-Up Season
A Holiday Survival Guide for the Newly Alone

One great way to open these conversations is with the phrase “I need your help...” Your family and friends love you and want to help - but most of us get caught up in our own needs during the holiday season and can use a gentle reminder that you are hurting and in need.

 

Have Someone On Call
You need to recruit a team to help support you during this time.  Please do not try to “gut it out” alone.  I think that tagging a friend or family member as “base” can be helpful at events.  This is someone you can check-in with periodically.  You get a chance to take the fake smile off and talk to honestly for a minute or two before you jump back into the event.  Having a friend “on call” to text with can also be helpful.  Let this friend know that they need to text you a “hi” or a joke every 15 minutes during difficult events or just ask them keep their phones on hand in case you need a quick reassuring word.

Plan A Distraction 
Sometimes when we are grieving and hour of socializing can feel like a year.  One thing that can help is to find a “job” for yourself. Name yourself the nanny or playmate for the kids or be the dishwasher for all meals. The point is to have something to do to keep you busy and distracted.

There may also be many people who will want to talk about your loss even when you don’t want or need to.  I find that having a rehearsed topic that engenders strong opinions can be helpful to distract these people - something like the Kardashians, the election or the Redskins quarterback. You just bring up your topic - even if you have to interrupt them - and it will catch their attention.  Then you can politely excuse yourself because you are expected at the kids table for coloring.


Plan For The Day After
People tend to be great at planning how to get through the holiday itself but then forget to plan anything for the day after.  They gear up for Thanksgiving and then have nothing in place for Black Friday.  And as a result, they can experience a crash or a flood of emotion on this day.  Make sure that you Holiday Survival Plan includes what you will need to get through these days as well.

Grieving a loss is difficult.  Grieving a loss while pretending to be jolly is impossible.  My most important piece of advise is to give yourself a break - starting right now.  Remember to breathe, ask for help, listen to your needs and please consider therapy as an additional support for yourself. Your insurance company or Employee Assistance Program can both help you get in touch with a therapist.

If you have any questions I can be reached through my website at www.DCCouplesCounseling.com or through my YourTango Expert Page.

Ashley Seeger, LICSW
www.DCCouplesCounseling.com
202-721-0088

 

This article was originally published at Ashley Seeger DC Couples Counseling . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Ashley Seeger

Author

Ashley Seeger, LICSW

DC Couples Counseling

www.DCCouplesCounseling.com

"I help couples resolve conflicts and create close and loving relationships that last a lifetime"

My Relationship Skills Class is taking place on Sunday, June 17th. Please click here for more details.

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Ashley Seeger:

Quitting Wheat Cured My Depression...And Improved My Marriage

By

Bagels can’t actually make you sad, can they? With all their toasty crunchiness and cream cheese smoothness, they are nothing short of happiness. Right? I used to believe that having a crunchy, creamy bagel would make me happy. It would raise my spirits when I was feeling low. I used to crave bagels when I was depressed and would eat more during these ... Read more

Is Your Marriage Sour Or Sweet? How Expectations Define Love

By

Expectation is a powerful force that shapes our lives in profound ways — it also shapes our relationships! If you can harness the power of expectation, you can dramatically change your relationships and your life. If I were to give you something to eat and I told you that it was going to be sour (like, say, a sour pickle) you would prepare yourself ... Read more

What Are The Signs That A Marriage Is Absolutely Doomed?

By

Are you considering couples counseling? Are you wondering whether you should even try to make it work in your marriage or if there are signs it is doomed to fail? If so, help is on the way. In this video, author and YourTango Expert Ashley Seeger explains how she guesses a couple's odds of survival. "You can never tell 100 percent when somebody ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB