Tips for managing grief during the holidays
Grief can be hard at any time of year, and special events like birthdays or Christmas can be particularly challenging. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with grief this Christmas, here are a few coping strategies to help. Of course, we know that everyone is different so some may work for you, and some may not. But it’s important to remember that it is both healthy and normal to grieve, and remember those we have lost.
Talk to friends and family
We all grieve in different ways and you may need to let them know about your feelings or worries.
Include the person in some way
Perhaps light a candle or raise a toast, listen to their favourite music or read a poem. It can be daunting, but don’t be afraid about acknowledging them, or worry when someone else recalls their life.
Give people permission to talk about the person who has died
Family and friends might be frightened of upsetting you, so you can let them know it’s healthy, normal and helpful for you to share memories.
Enjoy the company of others
People can feel guilty about having fun with friends and family, but there is no expectation for you to be sad all the time. We all grieve, remember and celebrate life in different ways.
It’s ok if you need to change plans
Explain to your friends and family that you might need to change your plans at the last minute. Grief can come in waves and it’s good to have a safety net, and not feel like you’re letting anyone down.
Be kind to yourself
Christmas is just another day – let your self compassion replace self-criticism as you balance grief with holiday enjoyment.
Source: Hospice UK