The holidays can be overwhelming in general, but for those that are grieving, the holidays can be very difficult, especially if it’s a first holiday without their loved one. Suicide Prevention Specialist, Amanda McIntosh took time to speak with Castle Country Radio about how there are healthy ways to cope with your grief and learn to heal.

“Everybody grieves differently and however you grieve is okay and everybody grieves in their own time. So there’s no expectation of when they will, quote, un-quote over the loss of their loved one or they’re handling it inappropriately because everybody’s going to take on the grief differently. Grieving is going to happen in its own time and people can find ways to move through that grief in a healthy way,” stated McIntosh. Adjusting to your new reality takes time and it’s important that you are patient with yourself as you grieve a loss.

Taking time to self-care is part of the grieving process and its important that you take the time to do so. “Self-care is limitless. It’s so individualized to what brings joy to you, what makes you feel grounded, and

what makes you feel okay with the day. Whether that be meditating, or journaling, or going for a walk, doing exercise. There’s a plethora of options for self-care. My idea of self-care is going to be completely different than your idea of self-care,” said McIntosh. Taking care of yourself while grieving is very important so that you don’t lose yourself to grief. Finding healthy outlets will help your well-being and supports your entire state of mind.

It’s okay to have good days and bad days, family and friends will understand that is part of the grieving process. “Also, to have expectations for yourself. Know that its going to be a hard time of year. Know that it’s going to be completely different then you ever experienced in your life, and have a strategy to work through the emotions. Whether that be giving yourself a timeout if things get overwhelming,” said McIntosh. Giving yourself the much-needed space is okay, as long as you’re not isolating yourself over long periods of time.

If you would like more information on healthy ways to cope or would like to get in touch with local resources in the area you can contact Amanda McIntosh. “So I’m available at the health department, my telephone number is (435) 636-1153. You can also reach out to the HOPE Squad of Carbon, Emery and Grand Counties Facebook page. I manage that Facebook page so I’m always available on that messenger. We have the HOPE Festival coming up, we have International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day coming up. Both great opportunities to be together with your family and start those new traditions, but also move through some grief cycles as well. So that is also a possibility or come down and see me at the Health Department,” said McIntosh.