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Dealing With Grief During The Holidays

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Oct 05, 2016

Dealing With Grief During The Holidays

It's that time of year again. In less than a month, it will be a Halloween, shortly followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. This can be the toughest time of the year for grievers, because it can be painful to remember all the special times we had with our loved ones during the holidays. Fortunately, there are some holiday-specific tips and tricks you can utilize to get you through these weeks.

Delegate Or Get Assistance With Tasks

Are you normally the one who carves the jack-o-lanterns? Bakes the Thanksgiving turkey? Puts up the Christmas tree? If you don't feel up to it this year as you process your grief. That's completely okay. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for assistance, or to even ask other friends or family members to take over these tasks completely, either on a temporary or permanent basis. It's important to put yourself first, and this is one way to do that. Chances are, your friends and family will be quite happy to help you in this manner.

...But Don't Bow Out Of The Holidays Altogether

You might have considered calling up or messaging your loved ones and saying, “Hey guys, I'm not coming to or hosting any holiday events this year,” but resist that urge. While solitude and quiet reflection is healthy, isolation is not, and you might be surprised how much being surrounded by family and friends can make you feel better even during times when you're certain that it won't. Be brave and stay in the picture. 80% of life is just showing up.

Buy Yourself A Gift

We think of holidays as a time to be thankful for others, and that's not something you should ignore, certainly, but during times of grief, you need to find ways to help yourself be happier and cope a little better, as long as those ways are healthy.

Getting yourself that video game, expensive chocolate, or smokin' outfit is one of those ways. Treat yourself. If it will help see you through to the other side of the holidays, why on earth not?

Reexamine Your Holiday Traditions

This one can be a bit tricky as you balance what works best for you with what works best for the rest of your family, but sometimes, traditions are inexorably linked to your loved one who passed away. If postponing or canceling that particular tradition will help you cope, and if it won't cause a great uproar with your family, then it's OK to do just that. It's up to you to find the correct balance between your needs and the needs of others, and that's the tricky part.

On the other hand, carrying on a holiday tradition can not only be a great way to honor the people who have passed, but can also serve as an example that life does go on and you can enjoy the holidays again. So have a think about each of your traditions and decide on the best course to take.