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  • Writer's pictureVanessa May

Grief doesn't take a holiday

Are you finding the summer difficult? If so, you're not alone. Grief can feel more intense than usual during the summer. This may be because we witness others going on happy and carefree holidays, whilst we might feel summer is now tainted by the pain of missing our much loved family members. Summer for us may never be the same again...

By contrast, we may find during the winter (with the exception of Christmas which, of course, brings its own challenges), that our sadness better matches the gloomier weather and more of an indoor lifestyle. Summer is all about having fun, enjoying ourselves and going away - and that can feel challenging when you're grieving.

So what can help us navigate this? Well firstly, by simply acknowledging how understandably tough it can be and that its okay to feel whatever it is you're feeling. Of course, it also very much depends on what stage of the grief journey you're at and your individual circumstances. But getting outside is going to help bolster your wellbeing, and the vitamin D from the sun will help with mood. It can also help to go to places that aren't associated with previous happy memories - exploring new places you didn't go to with them may feel less painful. And simple pleasures such as walking in nature, escaping into a novel whilst sitting in your garden or a park, or alternatively, some form of distraction such as doing a little decluttering, which may prove cathartic and give you a small sense of achievement.

A book to support you through summer

In 'Love Untethered', I write about my experience of holidays whilst grieving and my first summer after the loss of my son. If you haven’t read 'Love Untethered' yet, please see the Books page.

"Written with love and truth and mirrored my own experience of living in a world after child loss. Raw, painful and honest but Vanessa is an arm around your shoulders offering sound advice where others could not and I have read many books... I felt understood and less alone in my deep sadness after reading this powerful book."

(Amazon review for 'Love Untethered')

I've written an article for the latest edition of Happiful magazine

Happiful is a magazine with a focus on mental health and wellbeing and is available in all major supermarkets, WHSmith and also online. In the latest edition, I've written an article called '6 Ways Grief Affects Our Bodies'. Here's the opening paragraph:

"If you’ve ever experienced a loss, especially if it was a significant one, you may have been surprised by how grief affected your whole being. We’re aware that grief might be tough on us emotionally, but there is generally less awareness about how it can affect our bodies. As a nutritional therapist and wellbeing coach with personal experience of traumatic loss, I now also work as a holistic grief coach and certified grief educator, witnessing first hand how grief affects us physically."

I also write more on this subject of how grief affects us physically as well as emotionally in both 'Love Untethered' and 'Supporting Your Grieving Client'

See Books page for full list of where to buy

As a holistic grief coach, I work with loss of all kinds but particularly child loss and partner loss - so if you'd like support from someone who really 'gets it' then please visit my other website here

You can send me a message via the contact page

or via Instagram: (@may.wellbeing)

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