The holidays can be a difficult and trying time for many, especially if you are dealing with grief. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a breakup, or a difficult situation, grief can be particularly overwhelming during the festive season. Here, are some suggestions on how to cope with grief and find comfort during the holiday season.
What is grief?
Grief is a natural reaction to loss and can be experienced in many different forms. While grief is often associated with death, it can also be experienced in other losses, such as the loss of a job or a relationship. It is normal to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. Grief can also be accompanied by physical symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches.
Coping strategies for grief during the Christmas holiday
The holidays are often filled with traditions, memories, and reminders of times past that can be painful for those who are grieving. That being said, there are many ways to cope with grief during the holidays. Here are some strategies that can help.
Tips for finding comfort
One of the best ways to cope with grief during the holidays is to find comfort in familiar activities. This could be anything from taking a walk or reading a book to baking or singing. Doing something you enjoy or that makes you feel good can help to reduce stress and boost your mood.
It is also important to be kind to yourself. This may mean taking some time to rest or setting aside time for self-care. This could include taking a hot bath, meditating, or engaging in mindful activities such as colouring (you can download some mindful colouring pages here), deep breathing exercises, or walking.
Practising self-care over the holidays
It is important to practice self-care during the holidays, especially if you are dealing with grief. Taking care of yourself is essential for managing stress and maintaining your mental health. Make sure to get enough sleep, practice healthy nutrition, and engage in regular physical activity. You may also want to consider limiting your exposure to the news or social media to reduce anxiety.
Participating in festive traditions
Engaging in familiar traditions can be a great way to cope with grief during the holidays. This can help to bring a sense of normalcy and routine to what may otherwise be a difficult time.
However, you may find it helpful to create new traditions during the holiday season If you are struggling to participate in old holiday traditions. Only you can know how you are feeling, listen to your body and emotions, don’t feel guilty for doing what you need in order to help you cope.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you may want to focus on honouring their memory. This could include lighting a candle in their honour or gathering with family to share stories.
Finding hope in the New Year
It can be helpful to focus on the future and the hope that the New Year brings. This can be a great way to cope with the grief and sadness of the holidays. Use the New Year as a time to make positive changes and set new goals for yourself. This can help to give you a sense of purpose and focus your energy on something new.
Seeking professional help
If you find that you are struggling to cope with grief during the holidays, or at any time, it may be helpful to seek professional help. There are many resources available to those who are grieving, such as counselling and support groups. Participating in a grief support group can be a great way to connect with others and find comfort during the holidays. You can join my grief support group here.
Connecting with others
It can be helpful to connect with others who are also dealing with grief. This could be through a support group or simply spending time with friends and family. Talking to someone who has experienced similar loss can help you to feel less alone and find comfort.
It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to feel sad during the holiday season. Don’t try to push these feelings aside or ignore them. Instead, allow yourself to experience them and try to find healthy ways to express them.
Finally, be gentle with yourself. Grief is a process, it takes time to adjust to a different way of life. Be patient and give yourself permission to take things one day at a time.
By following these suggestions I hope you find comfort during the holidays and the New Year.