GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Anxiety, depression and grief; this time of year can take a heavy emotional toll and, when it does, Hopewest’s counselors are there to help. Joni Beckner and her team host sessions on how to handle the holidays.

Beckner says the first year without a loved one is not always the hardest.

“Sometimes, it’s often the second series of holidays that come forward, when the reality of the loss has set in or the reality of life changes that happens due to an illness,” Hopewest Center for Hope & Healing Joni Beckner describes.

Holidays are meant to be happy but some, just want to get through them.

“There’s really no right or wrong solution,” Beckner expresses, “It’s being sensitive to what are all need is and communicating that to family members trying to get everybody’s input.”

Every case of grief, depression, and anxiety is different, being open and creative helps.

“We have kids that have been in a group recently and they’re creating memorial ornaments to acknowledge the person and to use and decorating the house or the tree,” Beckner shares.

The best advice Beckner could offer anyone coping with grief is to celebrate holidays your way.

“The key is deciding, making a decision about those parts of the holiday that are what we really want to do or that are really meaningful to us, rather than feeling that obligation to do all the things on the list,” Beckner asserts.