Dealing with grief during the holidays

A Depressed adult male looks out a window past christmas decorations with christmas lights in the background.

What are some tips or coping strategies to find some relief during this stressful season?
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect holiday. If finances are a barrier, you can express that you care with a gift that is meaningful and personal. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. A phone call or personal note goes a long way. It’s okay to say “no” to some events and “yes” to events that you do want to attend. Try to keep a regular sleep, meal and exercise schedule.

What tips do you have for readers who suffer from worse depression during this time? What services or resources does Peace Hospital offer for those suffering from depression/holiday-induced depression?

The holidays can be difficult due to our tendency to compare our lives to an abundance of joy and cheer portrayed in the media and greeting cards. For someone suffering from depression and/or that have experienced a loss, this can be especially difficult. It’s important to not dwell on what the holidays are supposed to be like and how you’re supposed to feel. Identify someone that you can turn to. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Everyone needs support at different times of their lives.

Peace Hospital offers No Charge Assessments 24/7 in our Assessment and Referral Center and all UofL Health Emergency Departments. We also have a Lexington Assessment and Referral Center open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Peace provides a full continuum of care for those suffering from Depression including inpatient hospitalization, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. We also offer a free Support Group and all are welcome:

  • NAMI Connection – Mental Health Recovery Support for Individuals
    Monday 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
    Peace Hospital – Adult Outpatient Center
    4414 Churchman Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40215

What tips do you have and/or what resources/services are available for those struggling with grief during the holidays?
It’s important to give yourself permission to grieve – feel joy, sadness and anger. Accept offers from others to cook, shop, decorate, etc. Avoid using alcohol or other substances to self-medicate. Physical exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression. Writing in a journal can also be a good outlet for one’s grief.

What tips do you have for coping with family stress?
If some family members trigger stress for you, then find ways to avoid them. If seeing some family members is stressful, then try making a phone call instead. If certain family members argue every holiday, just know that you can’t control them. You can only control your own reaction to the situation. Don’t overbook yourself or stay longer than you would like.

For more information about our No Charge Assess­ment, call 502-451-3333 in the Louisville area or
859-313-3515 in the Central and Eastern Kentucky area. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, most commercial insurance and self-pay.



2020 Newburg Road

Louisville, KY 40205


Open 24/7 – Walk-ins welcome



1401 Harrodsburg Road

Saint Joseph Health Office Park, Suite A-400

Lexington, KY 40504


Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.


About Kelly Gillooly

Kelly Gillooly is the director Behavioral Health Outreach at Peace Hospital. She is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. Kelly has worked in the behavioral health field for more than 25 years and has been with Peace Hospital since 2012.

All posts by Kelly Gillooly