Updated: May 25, 2020

As the holidays are fast approaching, many people are dealing with unexpected or sudden loss which can include the untimely death of a loved one, divorce/separation, family tragedy, or some unknowing circumstance that completely altered their daily existence. Usually overwhelming shock is the initial response and this can last for months... even years. When people face bereavement or other kinds of trauma, they need to eventually incorporate the loss or impact into their now altered state and be listened to in order to heal. In general, we are uncomfortable with that level of human pain and can quickly "jump" to rescue, try to talk them out of where they simply are or remain rigid in our own response due to our own discomfort. It is natural to feel reluctant or even afraid of facing another's painful feelings. It is also important that the fear does not prevent us from doing what we can to help someone who is suffering. While each situation is unique, the most important thing is to be there, listen and show you care. Intense grief and how it manifests can look completely "irrational.' Many times, this life does not deliver the "rational" and the result is the primal human pain that must be endured. It is not simply "I just have to get through the holidays..." it can be "I just need to get through the moment and then Ill go to the next'

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I do not believe in resolutions. Statistics show that 92 percent of people who make them actually fail by the beginning of February. Living daily with ingrained positive life style changes will be the more effective antidote for lasting results including living each day in both gratitude and joy. As 2019 kisses us hello, I am much more aware of how fleeting this life is and how connecting with and giving to each other is the key to quality of life during any stage or transition. During the past year, JJWOLFF COUNSELING SERVICES actually doubled in the number of clients served especially in the crisis management arena. As the times have evolved, the mental health milieu has transitioned also to being more "in tune" with making counseling services more mainstreamed and convenient for someone seeking help. The introduction of new strategies such as Telemental Health ("videocounseling") shows that the demand is there to completely meet people where they are...when they are there. In faith, JJWOLFF COUNSELING was envisioned to be creative, innovative and focused completely on the comfort level of the person or family in need. Engaging my heart and extending myself "non traditionally" to meet the needs of people has added to the success and I am incredibly grateful. Another year brings daily opportunity to work harder, love deeper, appreciate more, and reach out to someone at all costs...that is the answer. Simply showing up and caring...Here's to the end of an incredible year and the promising dawn of another

Wishing You All The Blessings Imaginable, Jennifer

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This morning, I interviewed with WLTX on the relevant topic of "Handling The Holiday Blues". The segment will air on Christmas Eve, December 24th and deals with coping during the holidays. BE SURE TO TUNE IN FOR SOME HANDY TIPS... THE INTERVIEW WILL ALSO BE POSTED HERE!

In a nutshell, the "hustle and bustle" of the holidays can bring about much joy and gratitude for all of our daily blessings. It is supposed to be a time of celebration and renewal. However, for many, it is a stressful period coupled with sadness and frustration especially in dealing with family conflict loss, and separation and/or divorce. First and foremost, we have to remember that holiday stress is created by our own perception of what "needs to be" rather than frequently "what is." In good faith, we can give our best effort and yet the white horse does not come riding in, people can still choose misery and unhappiness, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow cannot be found. Everything changes and when life circumstances change, relationships usually do as well. On a positive note, we always have the opportunity to view hardship as the vessel to strengthening. Healing does not come without pain and, in the darkest moments, it is important to remember

that time does not heal all wounds..but it will take one to another place. The core elements of this season are simplicity, enjoying our blessings, being grateful for all of it, and finding peace regardless of any circumstance. Peace does not mean understanding or even agreement... it simply means acceptance.

Wishing you all the joy and peace imaginable, Jennifer

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