Six Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays
Whether your loved one died recently or decades ago, the holidays stir up powerful memories that may trigger your grief.
If the person died on or near a holiday, the two events are forever linked and may be particularly painful. Follow these six strategies for dealing with your grief this season:
Let others in. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Your friends and family want to help, so let them. Talk with your clergyperson. Finding a compassionate network such as a grief support group can also be very helpful. The company of others who share and understand your feelings may help you to feel more connected and less lonely.
Honor the old and create the new. No matter what you do, the memory of your loved one will be with you this holiday season. Find a way to honor and acknowledge that while creating new family traditions to share going forward.
Set limits. Let everyone know that you will not be over-doing, over-shopping, over-cooking, over-pleasing, or over-worrying this year. This is not the time to be a perfectionist.
Be selective. Choose activities that will make the holidays enjoyable for you. Do a few special things with a few special people, not everything with everybody.
Consider volunteering. Being of service to others is a very powerful healer. Find a way to volunteer this year, whether at a shelter, soup kitchen, or hospital. As you serve, give back with dedication to your deceased loved one.
Nurture yourself. If you are grieving, self-care is especially important because your energy levels are already drained. Be sure to get adequate sleep, eat well, exercise and limit your alcohol intake. Be gentle with yourself, too, and don’t do anything that doesn’t nourish your soul.
Keep in mind that your loved one will always be with you in your heart. We wish you a healing holiday season.