How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays…
Set Boundaries with Holiday Events
You can participate and not participate in whatever feels right for you. It may be helpful to commit to something that sounds nice while reminding yourself that you don’t have to stay the entire time. It is also okay to opt-out of holiday gatherings altogether. Finding a balance between engaging and not pushing yourself is important.
Tune Into Your Grief Emotions
Grief does not take a backseat during the holidays and can often be magnified. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and not avoid them. Be kind to yourself and remember that all feelings can coexist.
Honor Old Traditions & Honor Memories
It can be helpful to continue with old traditions that existed in order to honor and celebrate your loved ones. This is a helpful way to keep their memory present.
Create New Traditions
Creating new traditions can be healing for individuals who are grieving. Making new memories does not erase old memories.
Identify Grief Coping Skills
Consider creating a list of go-to coping skills to use whether you are at home or at a holiday event. Some examples of coping skills are deep breathing, taking a walk, journaling, listening to music and saying positive affirmations.
The holiday season is not always the ‘happiest time of the year’ for those who are grieving. Do remember there is no right or wrong way to approach the holiday season following the loss of your loved one. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You’re grieving because you’ve loved, have been loved and continue to love. An important part of your healing this holiday season may be to embrace the love and memories you’ve shared with your loved ones. Be kind and gentle to yourself while taking one day at a time and one feeling at a time.
Wishing you peace through the holiday season.