The holiday season is a time of happiness, joy, and time spent with family. There is always a special air of magic that surrounds this time of year which is why it’s so looked forward to by many. Although the holidays are filled with good tidings and excitement, it can be a very difficult time for those who recently lost a loved one. Memories of time spent together during the holidays can truly remind those of the significant loss they experienced. Unfortunately, the holidays can really make us realize how our lives have changed, traditions have changed, and holiday celebrations have changed. However, despite how fresh their loss may be, your loved one would not want you to spend the holiday season consumed in grief. There are many ways to cope with your grief that will allow you to enjoy the holidays while keeping the lovely memories of your loved one alive.
Tips on Coping
One of the first steps in coping with grief around the holidays is to acknowledge that the first holiday season without the presence of your loved one is going to be the hardest. It may be ideal to prepare in advance by making plans and even seeking out the support you need. To help you this holiday season, here are a few great ways to cope with your grief:
- Always take care of yourself: It’s very easy to fall down the path of self-medication to help ease your pain during the holidays. To truly feel better, you must take care of yourself. Try exercising when you can, eat healthy foods, and find an outlet for your emotions. Whether you talk to a professional or keep a personal journal, finding a tool to express your grief is very important.
- Set healthy boundaries: While you should be present at certain holiday events, you shouldn’t force yourself to go to every one of them. If you think a certain holiday tradition or event might be too painful for you to attend, then don’t be afraid to say no. Most importantly, don’t let others pressure you into going, either. Setting healthy boundaries for yourself if the best way to cope with your grief. You will be able to better understand what you can and cannot handle and work from there.
- Surround yourself with your loved ones: There’s no better way to work through your grief than with those who love and support you. Most importantly, with your loved ones around you, everyone can share the memories they have with the recently deceased, providing a wonderful opportunity for healing and bonding.
- Allow yourself to feel: Suppressing your feelings and forcing a smile on your face is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. It’s so important to allow yourself time to feel pain and sadness, and it’s also essential that you allow yourself to truly feel happy, too. Being in touch with your feelings is one of the best ways to work through your grief.
By practicing these suggested tips, you will have a smoother time managing and coping with your grief during the holiday season. During these difficult times, never be afraid to ask for help from your family, friends, and even support groups. Most importantly, once the grief and pain have subsided, the holidays can be a great time to keep the spirit of your loved ones alive and present.