The holiday season is here, which means family get-togethers, gift-giving, and happy times. For some this is the case, but for others, this can be a time filled with grief and sadness. Holidays are for spending time with those we love the most, so how can someone be expected to handle this time when a loved one has died?
If you are missing a loved one this holiday season, here are some tips to help you take a step back from the grief and survive the holidays.
Tip One: Be prepared for grief triggers.
Let’s be honest, triggers are particularly evident during the holidays. Preparing for these triggers and having a plan to cope with them can make the triggers more manageable if you encounter them.
Tip Two: It’s okay to take a break from togetherness.
Plan to get some space from the holiday chaos if you need it. Being surrounded by family and friends is great, but everything all at once can be emotionally overwhelming and hard to overcome. Don’t feel guilty about your grief. It is important to be conscious of your limits and take some time to collect yourself.
Tip Three: Seek gratitude.
The holidays are a time to gather together, eat good food, and share what we’re thankful for. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, grief can make it difficult to feel thankful. Although you may be focusing on the loss, try and remember the good things that relationship brought into your life. Search for that gratitude.
Tip Four: Decide which traditions you want to change or keep.
Acknowledge that things will be different this year. Some holiday traditions will remind you of your lost loved one, but it is okay to limit which of these you allow yourself to practice or not. Take time to determine which traditions will make you happy and which will overwhelm you.
Tip Five: Say yes to help.
Although you may typically play host during the holidays, this year may be too much to take on alone after losing your loved one. Accept help when it’s offered. Remember there is no shame in saying yes. Those who love you want to help.
The holidays can be hard for those who have recently lost a loved one. Grief can be especially unavoidable during these times, but it is important to remember that you can still feel joy through the grief. Taking these tips into account can help you prepare for that grief and make your holidays more enjoyable despite your recent loss.