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BMore Well: Coping With Holiday Grief

Nicole Baker's goal with this segment is to give you easy, practical everyday tips on staying well, safe and happy.

She will spotlight stories that bring you a dose of wellness during our newscasts, and you'll find longer-form stories streaming monthly on CBSN Baltimore.

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- I lost my grandmother suddenly in October and it was pretty terrible -- this will be my family's first Christmas without her.

I know I'm not the only one dealing with this.

A WebMD study found 57% of us are grieving someone we lost in the last three years. And let's be real: the holiday season can bring a mix of joy and sadness

So I wanted to talk to a local doctor to find out -- between the gifts and tradition and milestones we tend to honor this time of year -- where do we put our grief?

Dr. Drew Pate is the Chief of Psychiatry at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore.

"Managing grief is always difficult," he said. "And everyone has an individualized way that they manage and experience their grief. But in times of family and gathering and important events in life we do naturally think about the ones who are not with us."

Pate said there's no timeline on grief.

"Giving yourself a deadline to move forward isn't realistic or healthy," Pate said. "Accept and acknowledge the feelings of grief. Don't bury them because they will come back to get you."

He also said to remember the love you feel for the person lost.

"Continue to remind yourself that the love you have for that person goes with you forever. It doesn't disappear because the person is gone," Pate said. "Show gratitude and thankfulness for what is in front of you, even if it's not the ideal that you would like or the perfect scenario."

Here are some other ways to cope:

1. You and your family or friend can start a new tradition

2. You can try to change the way you celebrate-- maybe go out *safely* instead of gathering at home.

3. Don't underestimate talking your feelings out .. Especially if you haven't before

4. And how about helping someone else-- volunteering or donating can honor the person you're missing by spreading love to someone else.

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