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Ways to Deal with Grief During the Holidays

Ways to Deal with Grief During the Holidays

We have officially entered the holiday season! While this time does bring joy, love, and togetherness, it is also a difficult reminder of the ones we’ve lost. The sadness you feel during the year is often amplified during Thanksgiving and Christmas. This article provides a few ways to deal with grief during the holidays.

Create new memories

You may find that it is hard to keep the same holiday traditions or celebrate as you did in years past. Loss disrupts our life and normal routine, and that is okay. You may need to change things up and do something different this year. If you normally host family at Christmas, see if someone else will this year. After the loss of my grandpa, it helped my grandma to get away during the holidays and stay with family instead of having everyone over at her house. Harvard Health presents the idea of starting a new holiday tradition as a way to cope with grief. For instance, do something to remember your loved one such as lighting a candle, leaving an empty chair at the dinner table, or saying a few words of remembrance.

Give yourself grace

Ask for help

Do not place unnecessary stress on yourself. Ask for help from family and allow them to take over some of your usual tasks, such as hosting Christmas dinner or holiday shopping. Do not judge yourself for needing help or for the way you feel. If you feel sad or angry, accept it and allow yourself to experience those emotions. Don’t feel guilty when you feel joy and happiness without your loved one. They would want you to enjoy life and live in the present.

Trust the grief process

The five stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According to a Healthline article, the timeframe of these stages varies from person to person. The order in which each person experiences them varies as well. Realize that your personal grieving process will, not may, but will look different than someone else’s. Don’t compare yourself to your best friend or even your sibling.

Take care of your mental health

Remember to take care of your mental health this winter season. To read about four ways you can do this, click here.