Survivors of 2011 Natural Disasters Dig Deep for Thanks
Clinical Psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Offers Survivors of Natural Disasters Tips to Cope with Thanksgiving
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- Accept that this holiday will be different. "Expecting everything to be the same will only lead to disappointment. Accept that this might be difficult, and prepare for the rushes of emotions that may occur," Klapow said.
- Don't over-commit yourself. Its perfectly fine if survivors are not in a festive mood during the holidays. Choose events that sound most appealing and feel free to decline the ones that feel more like obligations. A polite "no thank you" can excuse you from an event. Don't feel obliged to explain yourself.
- Dont be afraid to cry. If youre feeling emotional, allow yourself a moment to grieve or cry before the event. "When emotions are temporarily depleted, it makes it easier to take on the day," Klapow explained.
- Express your gratitude. Try moving forward by modifying traditions or making new ones. Express gratitude for your life and celebrate the lives of those who died. Find joy in the small things around you.
- Follow your faith. If your faith is important, spend time with people who understand and respect your desire to pray and talk about common beliefs, Klapow suggested.