The holidays usually represent a time of happiness and togetherness with family and friends. For some, however the holidays are a reminder of a traumatic experience or loss. Grieving a loved one is hard. Grief during the holiday season can be even harder. It’s a constant reminder of the pain and loss and can be unbearable. For me and i’m sure many others, this time of the year is the hardest part of grieving when we miss our loved ones even more than usual. I mean how can we celebrate togetherness when everyone is not there?! Holidays magnifies loss. If you are feeling loss, alone, sad, and have no motivation to participate in activities over the holidays, you are not alone.
There are some things you can do to help cope with your grief and sadness. If you find yourself unable to pull yourself out of a depression, please seek the help of a professional counselor. They can help you find ways to deal with your grief and depression.
1. Take care of yourself- We often tend to focus on the needs of others and not ourselves. One of the best things we can do to deal with our grief is self-care. Go for a walk, read a book, take a relaxing bubble bath. Taking care of yourself will help you better take care of others.
2. Recognize triggers – If certain family situations or events trigger your grief, it’s alright to distance yourself from them. Your mental well-being is what is most important. Set boundaries and stick to them. You will be better for it.
3. Learn its ok to say no – we often allow others to put expectations on us that are hard for us to do. If doing something for someone else causes you stress, learn to say no.
4. Honor the loved one who passed. If you are grieving the loss of a loved, think of good times and focus on a good memory that makes you smile. The grief will never go away, but fond memories of the person can help you feel better.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do be gentle with yourself and protect yourself.
- Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul and your loss.
- Do allow time for the feelings.
- Don’t keep feelings bottled up. If you have 500 tears to cry don’t stop at 250.
- Do allow others to help. We all need help at certain times in our lives.
- Don’t ask if you can help or should help a friend in grief. Just help. Find ways; invite them to group events or just out for coffee.
- Do, in grief, pay extra attention to the children. Children are too often the forgotten grievers.
It isn’t as important how you remember, you honor them by the fact that you remember.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.