Ways to Cope with Holiday Grief
The Holiday season can be an emotional and stressful time, especially after the loss of a loved one. Here are six ways to make your season a little easier.
- Spend time with people who restore your spirits. Your family and friends understand that you are hurting this holiday season. Surround yourself with people who love you by visiting with family, making a phone call to a friend or even writing a letter to someone who lives away. It is good to have a balance between time with others and time alone.
- Give yourself permission to do less. Remember that it’s OK to say no. Accept only the invitations that you really want to accept. Don’t feel the need to put up all the decorations, or any decorations at all. Or you can choose to go out to eat instead of planning or making a meal.
- Accept help. Family and friends want to help you during the holiday seasons, but they may not know what you need or how to ask. Don’t hesitate to ask others for help cleaning or cooking. They may even offer to host the holiday festivities in their home, so you can come and leave when you feel the need.
- Volunteer. You can also choose to help others during the holiday season. Local soup kitchens or churches could use help serving the less fortunate. And you can volunteer to do things behind the scene so your interaction is minimal, but you are still helping.
- Let yourself grieve in your own way. Everyone grieves differently and there is no “right” way to grieve. You can share stories of your loved one and listen to others share their stories of the deceased. It is OK to smile, laugh and cry in memory of someone. Let the blessings of your memories ease your grief.
- Create new Christmas traditions. If you can’t bear to celebrate Christmas as you have in the past, try new holiday traditions. You can choose to go on a vacation instead of staying home. Or take old holiday traditions and adapt them into new traditions.
Christmas will not be the same without your loved one, but through your memories and with the love from others, you can celebrate God’s love for all and the birth of Jesus Christ.
May you have a holy and blessed Christmas season.