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Valentine's day coping tips when loved one is gone

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(HealthDay News) -- While many will be showered with flowers and candy on Valentine's Day, those who have lost loved ones may find the holiday hard to bear.

"Valentine's Day is one of the days that might be stressful for some people if they have lost someone special to them. There might be memories that re-emerge that can make someone sad," said Dr. Jin Han. He's an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, in Houston.

"There are some ways to cope with this to feel better though," Han added.

Being alone is not a good idea, he stressed.

"Isolation can actually lead to feeling more depressed, or it can lead to unnecessary thinking because you are alone with your own thoughts," Han said.

It's good to be with family or friends, or to go to a group or individual therapy session.

"It can be really helpful to talk about your memories of your loved one and to share what you are feeling," Han said. "Some people even go to the cemetery to pay their respects. Doing so actually helps them feel better because they feel that it's a way to let their loved one know that they haven't forgotten about them."

Family and friends can also do things to help a grieving person.

"If you are surrounded by wonderful people who are very sensitive to your feelings, then they will actually be proactive and try to make sure they do something to help out," Han said.

That can include simple gestures, such as inviting a grieving person out to lunch, or calling or video chatting with them.

"Overall, the key is to avoid isolation. It is so easy to fall into that trap, especially when you are in that emotional state, but it's not going to be helpful. You don't need to walk through the day alone," Han said.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on coping with grief.

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