Today we’re talking about how to get through the holiday season when you’re grieving a loss in your life.

The holidays are all about fun and tradition and being with loved ones, but this time of year is not so joyful for those who are grieving some kind of loss in their lives. And while that loss may be the death of a loved one, it could also be losing a home, losing a job, losing a relationship, or receiving a bad health diagnosis. Whatever it is that has put you in a state of having experienced loss creates grief, and grief and the holidays are essentially direct opposites. 

Everywhere you look, there are constant reminders that this is a different time of year… The lights and decorations are up, the stores are buzzing with excited shoppers, friends and family members are discussing holiday plans, and you can’t seem to escape that holly jolly Christmas music that’s playing everywhere you go.

Grief, on the other hand, is lonely and grueling, and the waves of emotion that come with it are unpredictable. There’s so much pressure to try and pull yourself together and act as if everything is not as bad as it is because you don’t want to feel like a buzzkill, especially during the holidays. But what are you supposed to do with this giant void that’s taken the place of the person or part of your life that you’ve lost?

This time of year may have been something you had once looked forward to. Maybe you always loved the traditions of making dozens of Christmas cookies, wrapping gifts for loved ones, and attending a variety of holiday parties, but it’s difficult to hold the same excitement for these things when you are grieving. Things just don’t feel the same because, for you, they aren’t the same, and that can be an incredibly painful reality to face.

In this episode, Ellen McCarty and I discuss some of the reasons why this time of year is so tough for many people and ways that you can nurture and take good care of yourself during this particularly difficult time. We share a couple of tools and some different ways of thinking that can help you work with the feelings you’re going through and not feel so alone while also giving yourself the permission to do things differently this holiday season.

“We want to remind the grievers listening out there that you’re already in a state where your energy is depleted because grief takes energy, it takes work. You have to take care of yourself. If you had been hit by a mack truck and you were in a body cast, you wouldn’t be demanding of yourself everything that you normally do. Well, grief is a big fat mack truck, and we are in a kind of body cast. So, we need to allow ourselves limitations and rest and change expectations. We can’t show up like we’re 100% when we’re 30%.” – Paula Shaw

About Ellen McCarty:

Photo of Ellen McCarty - Change It Up Radio with Paula Shaw

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Ellen McCarty is one of 9 children.  

Her early career was spent in teaching hospitals, primarily running clinical, surgical, and medical cancer programs for Tufts, Harvard, and Brown Universities.  During these 13+ years, Ellen would spend her own time visiting with hundreds of terminal patients and their families and discovering what we humans really value in the end.

The second half of her life brought her to San Diego, where she has been a Business and Marketing Strategist by trade for more than two decades; Ellen has been a one-on-one coach for thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world.  

Her skill, experience, and expertise aside, she consistently found herself more interested in why people were failing to achieve their desires, what was in their way, and how she could help them allow and receive the success, sustainability, and expansion they desired.

For the last seven years, Ellen has worked with private clients helping them to identify and release their resistance, transform their disempowering beliefs, reconnect with their authentic selves, and manifest both business and personal fulfillment.  

I really want to help others to  ‘Live a Great Life….Even when Life is Life-ing.  You know, suffer less, enjoy more!’

About Paula Shaw:

Image of Paula Shaw - Change It Up Radio with Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw was Certified by the Grief Recovery Institute’s Program through Loyola Marymount University as a Grief Recovery Specialist. She has been helping grieving people for over 28 years, using mind/body techniques to guide them through the discomfort of change and challenge, eliminating stress, depression, anxiety, weight gain, relationship distress, career challenges, a lack of energy, and self-destructive, addictive behavior.

These tools bypass the conscious mind–which is often rendered useless when emotions overwhelm us–and they work directly with the subconscious mind to shift problematic thinking, feelings, and behaviors that can result. Through these methods, it is possible to feel a sense of power and control in your life in a very short time.

Paula helps individuals regain successful lives by quickly identifying and eliminating self-sabotaging behavior and limiting beliefs by uncovering and addressing their core issues. Working with a wide variety of healing modalities, she provides her clients with the most effective processes for their specific needs. Because every person has unique challenges, this customized approach is critical to their success.

Paula is also the author of Chakras, the Magnificent Seven, which is a primer to the Chakra System and how to use it for greater health and healing, Grief… When Will This Pain Ever End?, which looks at loss and grief and provides practical, simple articles, processes, and exercises to help a grieving person move through their pain and back into joyful living, and her latest book, Saying the Right Thing When You Don’t Know What to Say, which is a guide to navigating difficult conversations that provides five steps to creating helpful, healing conversations.

If you are experiencing issues that feel overwhelming and you think that you might need help to overcome them, Paula offers a complimentary 20-minute consult that you can book on her website, or contact her at (858)-480-9234.

“You can’t learn any of the tools or help yourself until you’re heard and understood and gotten. Then, you’re given permission to do things differently.” – Ellen McCarty

Check out the video below to watch our interview:

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